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Compiled by 

Sayagyi U Ko Lay 

(Zeyar Maung) 
Former Vice-Chancellor 
Mandalay University 

Edited by 

The Editorial Committee 

Burma Pitaka Association 

Yangon, Myanmar 

Published by 

Selangor Buddhist Vipassana Meditation 
Selangor * Malaysia 

Reprinted for free distribution by 

The Corporate Body of the Buddha Educational Foundation 

1 1 F , 5 5 Hang Chow South Road Sec 1 , Taipei , Taiwan , R O C 

Tel 886-2-2395 1198, Fax 886-2-23913415 

Email overseas@budaedu org tw 

Website http //www budaedu org tw 

This book is strictly for free distribution, it is not for sale. 

Sabba danam dhammadanam jmati 
The gift of Dhamma surpasses ail gifts 


First published in Malaysia (1991) by 
Sin Jayanti Buddhist Temple 
Jalan Tujuh, Sentul Pasar 
51000 Kuala Lumpur 

This edition (year 2000) published by 

Selangor Buddhist Vipassana Meditation Society 
No. 29-B Jalan 17/45, 46400 Petalmg Jaya 
Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia 
Tel/Fax 603-755 0596 

Sayagyi U Ko Lay 

(Zeyar Mating) 

Graduated from Yangon University in 1934, educated also at London 
University of UK, Cornell University and Columbia University, USA 

He founded the first Myanmar University after gaining 
Independence, at Mandalay, the old capital of Burma and became its 
first vice-chancellor He retired from the university service in 1963 
and devoted himself entirely to practice of vipassand meditation and 
to translating Tipitaka Pali canon into English He first translated the 
discourses given by the Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw on Dhamma- 
cakkappavattana Sutta and Anattalakkhana Sutta in 1979 Next he 
served as senior Editor on the Editorial Committee of the Burma 
Pitaka Association. The Association has published his book on the 
Guide to Tipitaka and four of his translations in Ten Suttasfrom the 
Digha Nikaya His other translations from the Majjhima Nikaya, 
Samyutta Nikaya and the Vinaya Mahdvagga remain to be published 
in due course 

He has recently translated into English the six volumes in eight 
books of The Great Chronicle ofBuddhas in Myanmar which is based 
on the Pali text, Buddhavamsa and written by The Most Venerable 
Mmgun Sayadaw Bhaddanta Vicittasarabhivamsa. He is also 
working as a guest professor at the State Pariyatti Sasana University, 
Kaba Aye, Yangon. 


The Selangor Buddhist Vipassana Meditation Society wishes to 
thank the compiler U Ko Lay for giving permission to reprint his 
Guide to Tipitaka for free distribution 

A former vice-chancellor of the Mandalay University of 
Myanmar, the compiler has done much work in translating Buddhist 
texts and spreading the Buddha's dispensation 

As he turns 88 this August (2000), we wish to express our 
appreciation and gratitude for all the services he has rendered to the 
Buddha Sdsana 

We in Malaysia have benefited from all the Dhamma teachings 
that we received from the Theravada Buddhist countries of 
Myanmar, Thailand, and Sn Lanka, 

As he celebrates his 88th birthday, we also wish by way of this 
reprint to honour Sayagyi U Ko Lay and to dedicate the merits of 
this Dhamma-ddna to the weal and happiness of all beings 

May all beings be happy May they become fully enlightened 
May they be liberated from all suffering 

Selangor Buddhist Vipassana Meditation Society 
Petalmg Jaya, Malaysia 
July 2000 





Vinaya Pitaka 

Disciplinary and Procedural Rules for the Samgha 1 

(a) Seven Kinds of Transgression or Offence, Apatti 1 

(b) When and how the disciplinary rules were laid down 2 

(c) Admission of bhikkhunis into the Order 3 


1. Parajika Pali 5 

(a) Parajika offences and penalties 5 

Four Parajika offences which lead to loss 

of status as a bhikkhu 6 

(b) Thirteen Samghadisesa offences and penalties 6 

(c) Two Aniyata offences and penalties 7 

(d) Thirty Nissaggiya Pacittiya offences and penalties 8 

2. Pacittiya Pali 8 

(a) Ninety-two PScittiya offences and penalties 9 

(b) Four P&tidesaniya offences and penalties 9 

(c) Seventy-five Sekhiya rules of polite behaviour 10 

(d) Seven ways of settling disputes, 
Adhikaranasamatha 10 

(e) Rules of Discipline for the bhikkhunis 1 1 

3. Mahavagga Pali 12 

4. Culava^a Pali 13 

5. Parivara Pali 14 



(a) Observances and Practices in the 

Teaching of the Buddha 16 

(b) On the right way to give alms _ 17 

(c) Moral Purity through right conduct, Stla 18 

(d) Practical methods of mental cultivation for 
development of concentration, Samadhi 19 

(e) Practical methods of mental cultivation for 
development of Insight Knowledge, Panm 21 


Digha Nikaya 

Collection of Long Discourses of the Buddha 22 

(a) Sllakkhandha Vagga Pali, Division Concerning Morality 22 

1. Brahmajala Sutta, Discourse on the 

Net of Perfect Wisdom 22 

2. Samannaphala Sutta, Discourse on the 

Fruits of the Life of a Samana 24 

3. Ambattha Sutta 25 


4 Sonadanda Sutta 25 

5. Kuitadanta Sutta 26 

6. Mahali Sutta 27 

7. Jaliya Sutta 27 

8. Mahaslhanada Sutta 28 

9. Potthapada Sutta 28 

10. Subiha Sutta 29 

11. Kevatta Sutta 29 

12. Lohicca Sutta 30 

13. Tevijja Sutta 30 

(b) Maha Vagga Pali, The Large Division 30 

1. Mahapadana Sutta 31 

2. Mahanidana Sutta 31 

3. Mahaparinibbana Sutta 31 

4. Mahasudassana Sutta 33 

5. Janavasabha Sutta 34 

6. Mahagovinda Sutta 34 


7. Mahasamaya Sutta 34 

8. Sakkapanha Sutta 35 

9. Mahasatipatthana Sutta 35 
10. Payasi Sutta* 35 

(c) Pathika Vagga Pali 36 

1. Pathika Sutta 36 

2. Udumbarika Sutta 37 

3. Cakkavatti Sutta 37 

4. Agganna Sutta 38 

5. Sampasadaniya Sutta 38 

6. Pasadika Sutta 39 

7. Lakkhana Sutta 39 

8. Singala Sutta 39 

9. Atanatiya Sutta 40 

10. Sangiti Sutta 40 

11. Dasuttara Sutta 41 


Majjhima Nikaya 

Collection of Medium Length Discourses of the Buddha 42 

(a) Mulapannasa Pali 42 

I. Mulapariyaya Vagga 

1. Mulapariyaya Sutta 42 

2. Sabbasava Sutta 42 

3. Dhammadayada Sutta 43 

4. Bhayabherava Sutta 43 

5. Anangana Sutta 43 

6. Akankheyya Sutta 43 

7. Vattha Sutta 43 

8. Sallekha Sutta 44 

9. Sammaditthi Sutta 44 
10. Mahasatipatthana Sutta 44 

II. Sihanada Vagga 

1. Culasihanada Sutta 45 

2 Mahasihanada Snttp 45 

3 Mahadukkhakkhandha Sutta 45 


4 Culaduldchakkhandha Sutta 45 

5 Anumana Sutta 46 

6 Cetokhila Sutta 46 

7. Vanapattha Sutta 46 

8 Madhupindika Sutta 47 
9. Dvedhavitakka Sutta 47 

10. Vitakkasanthana Sutta 47 

III. Opamma Vagga 

1 Kakacuparna Sutta 47 

2. Alagaddupama Sutta 48 

3 Vammika Sutta 48 

4 Rathavmita Sutta 48 

5 Nivapa Sutta 48 

6 Pasarasi Sutta 48 

7 Culahatthipadopama Sutta 49 

8, Mahahatthipadopama Sutta 49 

9 Mahasaropama Sutta 49 
10 Culasaropama Sutta 50 

IV. Mahayamaka Vagga 

1 Culagosmga Sutta 50 

2. Mahagosifiga Sutta 50 

3 Mahagopalaka Sutta 51 

4, Culagopalaka Sutta 51 

5 Cujasaccaka Sutta 51 

6, Mahasaccaka Sutta 51 

7. CQlatanhasankhaya Sutta 52 

8 Mahatanhasaftkhaya Sutta 52 

9 Maha-assapura Sutta 52 
10 Cula-assapura Sutta 52 

V Culayamaka Vagga 

I/ Saleyyaka Sutta 53 

2. Veranjaka Sutta 53 

3 Mahavedalla Sutta 53 

4. Culavedalla Sutta 53 

5 Culadhammasamadana Sutta 53 

6 Mahadhammasamadana Sutta 54 

7 Vimamsaka Sutta 54 


8. Kosambiya Sutta 54 

9. Brahmanimantanika Sutta 54 
10. Maratajjaniya Sutta 54 

(b) Majjihma Pannasa Pali 54 

I. Gahapati Vagga 

1. Kandaraka Sutta 54 

2. Atthakanagara Sutta 55 

3. Sekha Sutta 55 

4. Potaliya Sutta 55 

5. Jivaka Sutta 55 

6. Upali Sutta 56 

7. Kukkuravatika Sutta 56 

8. Abhayarajakumara Sutta 56 

9. Bahuvedaniya Sutta 57 
10. Apannaka Sutta 57 

IL Bhikkhu Vagga 

1. Ambalatthikarahulovada Sutta 57 

2. Maharahulovada Sutta 57 

3. Culamalukya Sutta 58 

4. Mahamalukya Sutta 58 

5. Bhaddali Sutta 58 

6. Latukikopama Sutta 58 

7. Catuma Sutta 59 

8. Nalakapana Sutta 59 

9. Goliyani Sutta 59 
10. Kitagiri Sutta 59 

III Paribbajaka Vagga 

1. Tevijjavaccha Sutta 59 

2. Aggivaccha Sutta 60 

3. Mahavaccha Sutta 60 

4. Dlghanakha Sutta 60 

5. Magandiya Sutta 61 

6. Sandaka Sutta 61 

7. Mahasakuludayi Sutta 61 

8. Samanamundika Sutta 62 

9. Culasakuludayi Sutta 62 


10. Vekhanasa Sutta 62 

IV. RajaVagga 

1. Ghatikara Sutta 63 

2. Ratthapala Sutta 63 

3. Maghadeva Sutta 63 

4. Madhura Sutta 64 

5. Bodhirajakumara Sutta 64 

6. Angulimala Sutta 65 

7. Piyajatika Sutta 65 

8. Bahitika Sutta 65 

9. Dhammacetiya Sutta 66 
10. Kannakatthala Sutta 66 

V. BrahmanaVagga 

1. Brahmayu Sutta 66 

2. Sela Sutta 66 

3. Assalayana Sutta 67 

4. Ghotamukha Sutta 67 

5. Canki Sutta 67 

6. Esukarl Sutta 67 

7. Dhananjani Sutta 68 

8. Vasettha Sutta 68 

9. Subha Sutta 68 
10. Sangarava Sutta 69 

(c) UparipanBasa Pali 

I. Devadaha Vagga 69 

1. Devadaha Sutta 69 

2. Pancattaya Sutta 69 

3. Kinti Sutta 69 

4. Samagama Sutta 70 

5. Sunakkhatta Sutta 70 

6. Anenja-sappaya Sutta 70 

7. Ganakamoggallana Sutta 71 

8. Gopakamoggallana Sutta 71 

9. Mahapunnama Sutta 71 
10. Culapunnama Sutta 71 


II. Anupada Vagga 72 

1. Anupada Sutta 72 

2. Chabbisodhana Sutta 72 

3. Sappurisa Sutta 72 

4. Sevitabbasevitabba Sutta 72 

5. Bahudhatuka Sutta 73 

6. Isigili Sutta_ 73 

7. Mahacattarisaka Sutta 73 

8. Anapanassati Sutta 73 

9. Kayagatasati Sutta 73 
10. Sankharupapatti Sutta 74 

III. Suiiiiata Vagga 

1. Culasurmata Sutta 74 

2. Mahasunnata Sutta 74 

3. Acchariya-abbhuta Sutta 74 

4. Bakula Sutta 74 

5. Dantabhumi Sutta 75 

6. Bhumija Sutta 75 

7. Anuruddha Sutta 75 

8. Upakkilesa Sutta 75 

9. Balapandita Sutta 76 
10. Devaduta Sutta 76 

IV. Vibhanga Vagga 

1. Bhaddekaratta Sutta 76 

2. Ananda-bhaddekaratta Sutta 76 

3. Mahakaccana-bhaddekaratta Sutta 77 

4. Lomasakangiya-bhaddekaratta Sutta 77 

5. Culakamma-vibhaftga Sutta 77 

6. Mahakamma-vibhanga Sutta 77 

7. Salayatana-vibhaAga Sutta 77 

8. Uddesa-vibhaftga Sutta 78 

9. Arana-vibhaftga Sutta 78 

10. Dhatu-vibhaAga Sutta 78 

11. Sacca-vibhaAga Sutta 78 

12. Dakkhina-vibhaAga Sutta 79 


V, Salayatana Vagga 

1. Anathapindikovada Sutta 79 

2. Channovada Sutta 79 

3. Punnovada Sutta 79 

4. Nandakovada Sutta 80 

5. Cularahulovada Sutta 80 

6. Chachakka Sutta 80 

7. Mahasalayatanika Sutta 80 

8. Nagaravindeyya Sutta 81 

9. Pindapataparisuddhi Sutta 81 
10. Indriyabhavana Sutta 81 


(a) Sagatha Vagga Saihyutta Pali 82 

(b) Nidana Vagga Sartiyutta Pali 88 

(c) Khandha Vagga Saihyutta Pali 93 

(d) Salayatana Vagga Sartiyutta Pali 96 

(e) Maha Vagga Saifayutta Pali 103 


1. EkakaNipataPali 107 

2. Duka Nipata Pali 108 

3. Tika Nipata Pali' 110 

4. Catukka Nipata Pali 112 

5. Pancaka Nipata Pali 114 

6. Chakka Nipata Pali 116 

7. Sattaka Nipata Pali 117 

8. Atthaka Nipata P51i 118 

9. Navaka Nipata Pali 119 

10. Dasaka Nipata Paji 120 

11. Ekadasaka Nipata Pali 121 


L KhuddakapathaPali 123 

2. The Dhammapada Pali 125 


3. UdanaPali 126 

4. Itivuttaka'Pali 127 

5. Suttanipata Pali 127 

6. VimanaVatthuPali 128 

7. PetaVatthuPali 129 

8. The Thera Gatha Pali 130 

9. The Theri Gatha Pali 130 

10. Jataka Pali, Birth-Stories of the Buddha 132 

11. Niddesa Pali 132 

12. Patisambhida Magga Pali 132 

13. ApadanaPali 133 

14. Buddhavaihsa Pali, History of the Buddhas 133 

15. Cariya Pitaka 134 

16. Netti ' 135 

17. Petakopadesa 135 
18 Milindapanha Pali 135 


(a) Abhidhamma, the Higher Teaching of the Buddha 136 

(b) The seven books of Abhidhamma 137 

(c) Conventional Truth (Sammuti Sacca) 

and Ultimate Truth (Paramattha Sacca) 138 


I. The Dhammasangani Pali 140 

(1) TheMatika ' 140 

(2) The four Divisions 141 

(3) Order and classification of the types of 
Consciousness 142 

(4) Rupa Kanda 143 
II. Vibhanga Pali, Book of Analysis 143 

III. Dhatukatha Pali 145 

IV. Puggalapannatti Pali 145 
V. Kathavatthu Pali ' 146 

VI. YamakaPali " 147 

VII. Parana Pali 148 

An outline of the Pattiiana system of relations 148 

(i) Anuloma Patjhana 148 

(ii) Paccaniya Patfhana 148 

(iii) Anuloma Paccaniya Patjhana 148 

(iv) Paccaniya Anuloma Patjhana 149 

The Six Ways 

1. TikaPatthana 149 

2. DukaPatthana 149 

3. Duka-Tika Patfchana 149 

4. Tika-Duka Pat{hana 149 

5. Tika-Tika Patfrtana 149 

6. Duka-Duka Patthana 149 


The Tipitaka is an extensive body of Canonical Pali literature in 
which are enshrined the Teachings of Gotama Buddha expounded for 
forty-five years from the time of his enlightenment to his Parinibbana. 

The discourses of the Buddha cover a wide field of subjects and 
are made up of exhortations, expositions and injunctions 

Even from the earliest times some kind of classification and sys- 
tematization of the Buddha's Teachings had been made to facilitate 
memorization, since only verbal transmission was employed to pass 
on the Teachings from generation to generation Three months after 
the Parinibbana of the Buddha, the great disciples recited together all 
the Teachings of their Master, after compiling them systematically 
and carefully classifying them under different heads into specialised 

The general discourses and sermons intended for both the bhik- 
khus and lay disciples, delivered by the Buddha on various occasions 
(together with a few discourses delivered by some of his distinguished 
disciples), are collected and classified in a great division known as the 
Suttanta Pitaka. 

The great division in which are incorporated injunctions and ad- 
monitions of the Buddha on modes of conduct, and restraints on both 
bodily and verbal actions of bhikkhus and bhikkhunis, which form 
rules of discipline for them, is called the Vinaya Pitaka 

The philosophical aspect of the Buddha's Teachhtfl, more pro- 
found and abstract than the discourses of the Suttanta Pitaka, is 
classified under the great division known as the Abhidhamma Pitaka. 
Abhidhamma deals with ultimate Truths, expounds ultimate Truths 
and investigates Mind and Matter and the relationship between them. 

All that the Buddha taught forms the subject matter and sub- 
stance of the Pali Canon, which is divided into these three divisions 
called Pitakas - literally baskets. Hence, Tipitaka means three 
baskets or three separate divisions of the Buddha's Teaching. Here 
the metaphor 'basket' signifies not so much the function of 'storing 
up* anything put into it as its use as a receptacle in which things are 

xii Guide to Ttpttaka 

handed on or passed on from one to another like carrying away of 
earth from an excavation site by a line of workers. 

The Tipitaka into which the Pali Canon is systematically divided 
and handed down from generation to generation together with Com- 
mentaries forms the huge collection of literary works which the bhik- 
khus of the Order have to learn, study and memorize in discharge of 
their gantha dhura, the duty of studying. 


It is a great privilege for me to have been entrusted with the task 
of compiling this Guide to Tipitaka, So far as it is known, there is 
not a single work that deals, in outline, with the whole Tipitaka It is 
sincerely hoped that this compilation will be found useful and handy 
by the general reader who wishes to be provided with a bird's eye view 
of the vast and magnificent canonical scenery which represents all 
that the Buddha (and some of his disciples) had taught and all that 
has been treasured in the Tipitaka. 

In compiling this work, the Pali Texts as approved by the Sixth 
International Buddhist Synod together with their Burmese trans- 
lations have been closely adhered to Acknowledgements are due to 
Dagon U San Ngwe and U Myo Myint who provided notes for some 
of the chapters Additional information and facts were gathered from 
various other sources The following complete set of 'Questions and 
Answers' recorded at the Sixth International Buddhist Synod proved 
to be a mine of information on the contents of the Tipitaka 

1. Vinaya Pitaka - Questions and Answers, Vol. L 

2. Vinaya Pitaka - Questions and Answers, Vol. II 

3. Suttanta Pitaka - 'Digha Nikaya' Questions and Answers. 

4. Suttanta Pitaka - 'Majjhima Nikaya' Questions and Answers, Vol 

5. Suttanta Pitaka - *M ajjhima Nikaya' Questions and Answers, 
Vol. II 

6. Suttanta Pitaka - 'Samyutta Nikaya' Questions and Answers, Vol 

7. Suttanta Pitaka - 'Samyutta Nikaya' Questions and Answers, 
Vol II. 

8 Suttanta Pitaka - 'Anguttara Nikaya' Questions and Answers, 
Vol. L 

xiv Guide to Tipttaka 

9 Suttanta Pitaka - 'Anguttara Nikaya* Questions and Answers, 
Vol II 

10. Abhidhamma Pitaka - 'Khuddaka Nikaya' Questions and 

Paragraph Nos. cited in this work are from the published Texts 
as approved by the Sixth International Buddhist Synod. 

In conclusion, I wish to put on record my deep gratitude to the 
members of the Editorial Committee, Burma Pitaka Association, who 
had spent long hours going through the script with meticulous care 
and from whose indefatigable labour and erudite counsel this compi- 
lation has much benefited 

February 1984 U Ko Lay 




Disciplinary and Procedural Rules for the Samgha 

The Vinaya Pitaka is made up of rules of discipline laid down for 
regulating the conduct of the Buddha's disciples who have been ad- 
mitted as bhikkhus and bhikkhunis into the Order. These rules em- 
body authoritative injunctions of the Buddha on modes of conduct and 
restraints on both physical and verbal actions. They deal with trans- 
gressions of discipline, and with various categories of restraints and 
admonitions in accordance with the nature of the offence. 

(a) Seven Kinds of Transgression or Offence, Apatti 

The rules of discipline first laid down by the Buddha are called 
Mulapannattt (the root regulation); those supplemented later are 
known as Anupannatti. Together they are known as Sikkhapadas, 
rules of discipline. The act of transgressing these rules of discipline, 
thereby incurring a penalty by the guilty bhikkhu, is called Apatti, 
which means 'reaching, committing'. 

The offences for which penalties are laid down may be classified 
under seven categories depending on their nature: 

(i) Parajika 

(ii) Samghadisesa 

(iii) Thullaccaya 

(iv) Pacittiya 

(v) Patidesaniya 

(vi) Dukkata 

(vii) Dubbhasita 

2 Guide to Ttpttaka 

An offence in the first category of offences, Parajika f is classified 
as a grave offence, garukapatti, which is irremediable, atekiccha and 
entails the falling off of the offender from bhikkhuhood. 

An offence in the second category, Samghddisesa, is also classi- 
fied as a grave offence but it is remediable, satekicchd The offender 
is put on a probationary period of penance, during which he has to 
undertake certain difficult practices and after which he is rehabilitated 
by the Samgha assembly. 

The remaining five categories consist of light offences, 
lahukdpatti, which are remediable and incur the penalty of having to 
confess the transgression to another bhikkhu. After carrying out the 
prescribed penalty, the bhikkhu transgressor becomes cleansed of 
the offence. 

(b) When and how the disciplinary rules were laid down 

For twenty years after the establishment of the Order there was 
neither injunction nor rule concerning Parajika and Samghadisesa 
offences. The members of the Order of the early days were all Ariyas, 
the least advanced of whom was a Stream-winner, one who had 
attained the first Magga and Fruition, and there was no need for pre- 
scribing rules relating to grave offences. 

But as the years went by, the Samgha grew in strength. Undesir- 
able elements not having the purest of motives but attracted only by 
the fame and gain of the bhikkhus began to get into the Buddha's 
Order. Some twenty years after the founding of the Order, it became 
necessary to begin establishing rules relating to grave offences. 

It was through Bhikkhu Sudinna, a native of Kalanda Village near 
Vesali, who committed the offence of having sexual intercourse with 
his ex-wife, that the first Parajika rule came to be promulgated. It was 
laid down to deter bhikkhus from indulging in sexual intercourse. 

When such a grave cause had arisen for which the laying down 
of a prohibitory rule became necessary, the Buddha convened an as- 
sembly of the bhikkhus. It was only after questioning the bhikkhu con- 
cerned and after the undesirability of committing such an offence had 
been made clear that a certain rule was laid down in order to prevent 
future lapses of similar nature. 

The Buddha also followed the precedence set by earlier Buddhas. 
Using his supernormal powers, he reflected on what rules the earlier 

Chp 1 What is Vtnaya Pttaka 3 

Buddhas would lay down under certain given conditions. Then he 
adopted similar regulations to meet the situation that had arisen in 
his time 

(c) Admission of bhikkhunis into the Order 

After spending four vassas (residence period during the rains) 
after his Enlightenment, the Buddha visited Kapilavatthu, his native 
royal city, at the request of his ailing father, King Suddhodana. At that 
time, Mahapajapati, Buddha's foster mother requested him to admit 
her into the Order. Mahapajapati was not alone in desiring to join the 
Order. Five hundred Sakyan ladies whose husbands had left the 
household life were also eager to be admitted into the Order 

After his father's death, the Buddha went back to Vesali, refusing 
the repeated request of Mahapajapati for admission into the Order. 
The determined foster mother of the Buddha and widow of the re- 
cently deceased King Suddhodana, having cut off her hair and put on 
bark-dyed clothes, accompanied by five hundred Sakyan ladies, made 
her way to Vesali where the Buddha was staying in the Mahavana, in 
the Kutagara Hall. 

The Venerable Ananda saw them outside the gateway of the 
Kutagara Hall, dust-laden with swollen feet, dejected, tearful, standing 
and weeping. Out of great compassion for the ladies, the Venerable 
Ananda interceded with the Buddha on their behalf and entreated 
him to accept them into the Order. The Buddha continued to stand 
firm. But when the Venerable Ananda asked the Buddha whether 
women were not capable of attaining Magga and Phala Insight, the 
Buddha replied that women were indeed capable of doing so, 
provided they leftjthe household life like their menfolks. 

Thereupon Ananda made his entreaties again saying that 
Mahapajapati had been of great service to the Buddha waiting on him 
as his guardian and nurse, suckling him when his mother died. And 
as women were capable of attaining the Magga and Phala Insight, she 
should be permitted to join the Order and become a bhikkhuni 

The Buddha finally acceded to Ananda's entreaties. "Ananda, if 
Mahapajapati accepts eight special niles, garu-dhamma, let such 
acceptance means her admission to the Order " 

4 Guide to Tipitaka 

The eight special rules 1 are: 

(1) A bhikkhum, even if she enjoys a seniority of a hundred years 
in the Order, must pay respect to a bhikkhu though he may 
have been a bhikkhu only for a day 

(2) A bhikkhum" must not keep her rains-residence in a place 
where there are no bhikkhus. 

(3) Every fortnight a bhikkhuni must do two things: To ask the 
bhikidiu Samgha the day of uposatha, and to approach the 
bhikkhu Samgha for instruction and admonition. 

(4) When the rains-residence period is over, a bhikkhuni must 
attend the pavdrand ceremony conducted at both the assem- 
blies of bhikkhus and bhikkhun*s, in each of which she must 
invite criticism on what has been seen, what has been heard or 
what has been suspected of her. 

(5) A bhikkhuni who has committed a Samghadisesa offence must 
undergo penance for a half-month, pakkha manatta, in each as- 
sembly of bhikkhus and bhikkhunis. 

(6) Admission to the Order must be sought, from both assemblies, 
by a woman novice only after two year's probationary training 
as a candidate. 

(7) A bhikkhuni should not revile a bhikkhu in any way, not even 

(8) A bhikkhuni must abide by instructions given her by bhikkhus, 
but must not give instructions or advice to bhikkhus. 

Mahapajapati accepted unhesitatingly these eight conditions im- 
posed by the Buddha and was consequently admitted into the Order. 

1 Vide, Vinaya-II, 74-75 



The Vinaya Pttaka is made up of five books: 

(1) Parajika Pali 

(2) Pacittiya Pali 

(3) Mahavagga Pali 

(4) Culavagga Pali 

(5) ParivaraPali 

1. Parajika Pali 

Parajika Pali which is Book I of the Vinaya Pitaka gives an elabo- 
rate explanation of the important rules of discipline concerning Parajika 
and Sarhghadisesa, as well as Aniyata and Nissaggiya which are minor 

(a) Parajika offences and penalties 

Parajika discipline consists of four sets of rules laid down to pre- 
vent four grave offences. Any transgressor of these rules is defeated 
in his purpose in becoming a bhikkhu. In the parlance of Vinaya, the 
Parajika Apatti falls upon him; he automatically loses the status of a 
bhikkhu; he is no longer recognized as a member of the community 
of bhikkhus and is not permitted to become a bhikkhu again. He has 
either to go back to the household life as a layman or revert back to 
the status of a samanera, a novice. 

One who has lost the status of a bhikkhu for transgression of any 
of these rules is likened to (i) a person whose head has been cut off 
from his body; he cannot become alive even if the head is fixed back 
on the body; (ii) leaves which have fallen off the branches of the tree; 
they will not become green again even if they are attached back to 
the leaf-stalks; (iii) a flat rock which has been split; it cannot be made 

6 Guide to Ttpttaka 

whole again, (iv) a palm tree which has been cut off from its stem; it 
will never grow again. 

Four Parajika offences which lead to loss of status as a bhikkhu 

i) The first Parajika: Whatever bhikkhu should indulge in sexual 
intercourse loses his bhikkhuhood. 

ii) The second Parajika: Whatever bhikkhu should take with 
intention to steal what is not given loses his bhikkhuhood. 

Hi) Hie third Parajika: Whatever bhikkhu should intentionally 
deprive a human being of life loses his bhikkhuhood. 

iv) The fourth Parajika: Whatever bhikkhu claims to attainments 
he does not really possess, namely, attainments to jhana or 
Magga and Phala Insight, loses his bhikkhuhood. 

The Parajika offender is guilty of a very grave transgression. He 
ceases to be a bhikkhu. His offence, Apatti, is irremediable. 

(b) Thirteen Samghaidisesa offences and penalties 

Samghadisesa discipline consists of a set of thirteen rules which 
require formal participation, of the Samgha from beginning to end in 
the process of making him free from the guilt of transgression. 

i) A bhikkhu having transgressed these rules, and wishing to be 
free from his offence must first approach the Sarhgha and con- 
fess having committed the offence. The Samgha determines his 
offence and orders him to observe the parivasa penance, a 
penalty requiring him to live under suspension from associa- 
tion with the rest of the Saihgha, for as many days as he has 
knowingly concealed his offence, 

ii) At the end of the parivasa observance, he undergoes a further 
period of penance, manatta, for six days to gain approbation of 
the Sariigha. 

iii) Having carried out the manatta penance, the bhikkhu requests 
the Sariigha to reinstate him to full association with the rest of 
the Samgha. 

Chp2 Vmaya Pitaka 7 

Being now convinced of the purity of his conduct as before, the 
Samgha lifts theApatti at a special congregation attended by at least 
twenty bhikkhus, where natti, the motion for his reinstatement, is 
recited followed by three recitals ofkammavdca, procedural text for 
formal acts of the Samgha. 

Some examples of the Samghadisesa offences. 

i) Kayasarfisagga offence: 

If any bhikkhu with lustful, perverted thoughts engages in bodily 
contact with a woman, such as holding of hands, caressing the tresses 
of hair or touching any part of her body, he commits the Kdyasa- 
msagga Samghddtsesa offence. 

ii) Sancaritta offence: 

If any bhikkhu acts as a go-between between a man and a 
woman for their lawful living together as husband and wife or for 
temporary arrangement as man and mistress or woman and lover, 
he is guilty of Sancaritta Samghddtsesa offence. 

(c) Two Aniyata offences and penalties 

Aniyata means indefinite, uncertain. There are two Aniyata of- 
fences, the nature of which is uncertain and indefinite as to whether it 
is a Parajika offence, a Samghadisesa offence or a Pacittiya offence. 
It is to be determined according to provisions in the following rules 

(i) If a bhikkhu sits down privately alone with a woman in a place 
which is secluded and hidden from view, and convenient for 
an immoral purpose and if a trustworthy lay woman (i.e. an 
Ariya), seeing him, accuses him of any one of the three of- 
fences: (1) A Parajika offence, (2) A Samghadisesa offence, 
(3) A Pacittiya offence, and the bhikkhu himself admits that he 
was so sitting, he should be found guilty of one of these three 
offences as accused by the trustworthy lay woman. 

(ii) If a bhikkhu sits down privately alone with a woman in a place 
which is not hidden from view and not convenient for an im- 
moral purpose but convenient for talking lewd words to her, 
and if a trustworthy lay woman (i.e., An Ariya), seeing him, 
accuses him of any one of the two offences (1) a Samghadisesa 

8 Guide to Ttpitaka 

offence, (2) a Pacittiya offence, and the bhikkhu himself admits 
that he was so sitting, he should be found guilty of one of these 
two offences as accused by the trustworthy lay woman. 

(d) Thirty Nissaggiya Pacittiya offences and penalties 

There are thirty rules under the Nissaggiya category of offences 
and penalties which are laid down to curb inordinate greed in bhik- 
khus for possession of material things such as robes, bowls etc. To 
give an example, an offence is done under these rules when objects 
not permitted are acquired, or when objects are acquired in more 
than the permitted quantity The penalty consists firstly of giving up 
the objects in respect of which the offence has been committed. 
Then it is followed by confession of the breach of the rule, together 
with an undertaking not to repeat the same offence, to the Sarhgha 
as a whole, or to a group of bhikkhus, or to an individual bhikkhu to 
whom the wrongfully acquired objects have been surrendered. 

Some examples of the Nissaggiya Pacittiya offences. 

(i) First Nissaggiya Sikkhapada 

If any bhikkhu keeps more than the permissible number of 
robes, namely, the lower robe, the upper robe and the great robe, he 
commits an offence for which he has to surrender the extra robes 
and confess his offence. 

(ii) Civara Acchindana Sikkhapada 

If any bhikkhu gives away his own robe to another bhikkhu and 
afterwards, being angry or displeased, takes it back forcibly or causes 
it to be taken away by someone else, he commits a Nissaggiya 
Pacittiya offence. 

Nissaggiya offences are light offences compared with the grave 
offences of Parajika Apatti or SariighadisesaApattl 

2. Pacittiya Pali 

The Pacittiya Pap which is Book II of the Vinaya Pitaka deals with 
the remaining sets of rules for the bhikkhus, namely, the Pacittiya, 
the Patidesaniya, Sekhiya, Adhikaranasamatha and the correspond- 
ing disciplinary rules for the bhikkhunis. Although it is called in Pali 
just Pacittiya, it has the distinctive name of 'Suddha Pacittiya', ordi- 

Chp2 VtnayaPitaka 9 

nary Pacittiya, to distinguish it from Nissaggiya Pacittiya, described 

(a) Ninety-two Pacittiya offences and penalties 

There are ninety-two rules under this class of offences classifi- 
ed in nine sections. A few examples of this type of offences: 

(i) Telling a lie deliberately is a Pacittiya offence. 

(ii)A bhikkhu who sleeps under the same roof and within the 
walls along with a woman commits a Pacittiya offence. 

(iii) A bhikkhu who digs the ground or causes it to be dug commits 
a Pacittiya offence. 

A Pacittiya offence is remedied merely by admission of the 
offence to a bhikkhu. 

(b) Four Patidesaniya offences and penalties 

There are four offences under this classification and they all deal 
with the bhikkhu's conduct in accepting and eating alms-food offered 
to him. The bhikkhu transgressing any of these rules, in making 
admission of his offence, must use a special formula stating the nature 
of his fault 

The first rule of Patidesaniya offence reads, should a bhikkhu 
eat hard food or soft food having accepted it with his own hand from 
a bhikkhuni who is not his relation and who has gone among the 
houses for alms-food, it should be admitted to another bhikkhu by 
the bhikkhu saying, "Friend, I have done a censurable thing which is 
unbecoming and which should be admitted. I admit having committed 
a Patidesaniya offence". 

The events that led to the laying down of the first of these rules 
happened in Savatthi, where one morning bhikkhus and bhikkhuni s 
were going round for alms-food. A certain bhikkhuni offered the 
food she had received to a certain bhikkhu who took away all that 
was in her bowl. The bhikkhunf had to go without any food for the 
day. Three days in succession she offered to give her alms-food to the 
same bhikkhu who on all the three days deprived her of her entire 

10 Guide to Ttpttaka 

alms-food. Consequently she became famished. On the fourth day 
while going on the alms round she fainted and fell down through 
weakness. When the Buddha came to hear about this, he censured 
the bhikkhu who was guilty of the wrong deed and laid down the 
above rule 

(c) Seventy-five Sekhiya rules of polite behaviour 

These seventy-five rules laid down originally for the proper beha- 
viour of bhikkhus also apply to novices who seek admission to the 
Order Most of these rules were all laid down at Savatthi on account 
of mdisciplined behaviour on the part of a group of six bhikkhus. 
The rules can be divided into four groups. The first group of twenty- 
six rules is concerned with good conduct and behaviour when going 
into towns and villages The second group of thirty rules deals with 
polite manners when accepting alms-food and when eating meals. The 
third group of sixteen rules contains rules which prohibit teaching 
of the Dhamma to disrespectful people The fourth group of three 
rules relates to unbecoming ways of answering the calls of nature 
and of spitting. 

(d) Seven ways of settling disputes, Adhikaranasamatha 

Pacittiya Pali concludes the disciplinary rules for bhikkhus with 
a Chapter on seven ways of settling cases, Adhikaranasamatha. 

Four kinds of cases are listed: 

i) Vivadadhikarana 

Disputes as to what is dhamma, what is not dhamma; what is 
Vinaya, what is not Vinaya; what the Buddha said, what the 
Buddha did not say, and what constitutes an offence, what is 
not an offence. 

ii) Anuvadadhikarana 

Accusations and disputes arising out of them concerning the 
virtue, practice, views and way of living of a bhikkhu. 

iii) Apattadhikarana 

Infringement of any disciplinary rule 

Chp2 VinayaPttaka 11 

iv) Kiccadhikarana 

Formal meeting or decisions made by the Samgha. 

For settlement of such disputes that may arise from time to time 
amongst the Order, precise and detailed methods are prescribed 
under seven heads: 

i) Sammukha Vinaya 

- before coming to a decision, conducting an enquiry in the 
presence of both parties in accordance with the rules of 

ii) Sati Vinaya 

- making a declaration by the Samgha of the innocence of an 
Arahat against whom some allegations have been made, 
after asking him if he remembers having committed the 

iii) Amulha Vinaya 

- making a declaration by the Samgha when the accused is 
found to be insane. 

iv) Patinnata Karana 

- making a decision after admission by the party concerned 

v) Yebhuyyasika Kamma 

- making a decision in accordance with the majority vote. 

vi) Tassapapiyasika Kamma 

- making a declaration by the Samgha when the accused 
proves to be unreliable, making admissions only to retract 
them, evading questions and telling lies. 

vii) Tinavattharaka Kamma 

- 'the act of covering up with grass' exonerating all 
offences except the offences of Parajika, Samghadisesa and 
those in connection with laymen and laywomen, when the 
disputing parties are made to reconcile by the Samgha. 

(e) Rules of Discipline for the bhikkhunis 

The concluding chapters in the Pacittiya Pali are devoted to the 
rules of Discipline for the bhikkhums. The list of rules for bhikkhunis 

12 Guide to Ttpttaka 

runs longer than that for the bhikkhus. The bhikkhuni rules were 
drawn up on exactly the same lines as those for the bhikkhus, with 
the exception of the two Aniyata rules which are not laid down for 
the bhikkhuni Order. 

Bhikkhu Bhikkhuni 

(1) Parajika 4 8 

(2) Sariighadisesa 13 17 

(3) Aniyata 2 

(4) Nissaggiya Pacittiya 30 30 

(5) Suddha Pacittiya 92 166 

(6) Patidesanfya 4 8 

(7) Sekhiya 75 75 

(8) Adhikaranasamatha 7 1_ 

227 311 

These eight categories of disciplinary rules for bhikkhus and 
bhikkhunis of the Order are treated in detail in the first two books 
of the Vinaya Pitaka. For each rule a historical account is given as to 
how it comes to be laid down, followed by an exhortation of the 
Buddha ending with "This offence does not lead to rousing of faith in 
those who are not convinced of the Teaching, nor to increase of faith 
in those who are convinced." After the exhortation comes the parti- 
cular rule laid down by the Buddha followed by word for word com- 
mentary on the rule. 

3. Mahavagga Pali 

The next two books, namely, Mahavagga Pali which is Book III 
and Culavagga Pali which is Book IV of the Vinaya Pitaka, deal with 
all those matters relating to the Sarhgha which have not been dealt 
with in the first two books. 

Mahavagga Pali, made up often sections known as Khandhakas, 
opens with an historical account of how the Buddha attained Supreme 

Chp2 VinayaPitaka 13 

Enlightenment at the foot of the BodhI Tree, how he discovered the 
famous law of Dependent Origination, how he gave his first sermon 
to the Group of Five Bhikkhus on the discovery of the Four Noble 
Truths, namely, the great Discourse on The Turning of the Wheel of 
Dhamma, Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta. This was followed by 
another great discourse, the Anattalakkhana Sutta. These two suttas 
may be described as the Compendium of the Teaching of the Buddha. 

The first section continues to describe how young men of good 
families like Yasa sought refuge in him as a Buddha and embraced 
his Teaching, how the Buddha embarked upon the unique mission of 
spreading the Dhamma 'for the welfare and happiness of the many' 
when he had collected round him sixty disciples who were well esta- 
blished in the Dhamma and had become Arahats, how he began to 
establish the Order of the Samgha to serve as a living example of the 
Truth he preached; and how his famous disciples like Sariputta, 
Moggallana, Maha Kassapa, Ananda, Upali, Angulimala became mem- 
bers of the Order The same section then deals with the rules for 
formal admission to the Order (Upasampada), giving precise condi- 
tions to be fulfilled before any person can gain admission to the 
Order and the procedure to be followed for each admission. 

Mahavagga further deals with procedures for an Uposatha mee- 
ting, the assembly of the Samgha on every full moon day and on the 
fourteenth or fifteenth waning day of the lunar month when 
Patimokkha, a summary of the Vmaya rules, is recited Then there 
are rules to be observed for rains retreat (vassa) dunng the rainy sea- 
son as well as those for the formal ceremony of pavarana concluding 
the rains retreat, in which a bhikkhu invites criticism from his 
brethren in respect of what has been seen, heard or suspected about 
his conduct 

There are also rules concerning sick bhikkhus, the use of leather 
for footwear and furniture, materials for robes, and those concern- 
ing medicine and food. A separate section deals with the Kathma 
ceremonies where annual making and offering of robes take place 

4. Ciilavagga Pali 

Culavagga Pali which is Book IV of the Vmaya Pitaka continues 
to deal with more rules and procedures for institutional acts or 

14 Guide to Ttpttaka 

functions known as Samghakamma The twelve sections in this book 
deal with rules for offences such as Samghadisesa that come before 
the Samgha, rules for observance of penances such as parivasa and 
manatta and rules for reinstatement of a bhikkhu There are also 
miscellaneous rules concerning bathing, dress, dwellings and furniture 
and those dealing with treatment of visiting bhikkhus, and duties of 
tutors and novices. Some of the important enactments are concern- 
ed with Tajjantya Kamma, formal act of censure by the Samgha taken 
against those bhikkhus who cause strife, quarrels, disputes, who 
associate familiarly with lay people and who speak in dispraise of the 
Buddha, the Dhamma and the Samgha; Ukkhepamya Kamma, formal 
act of suspension to be taken against those who having committed 
an offence do not want to admit it; and Pakdsamya Kamma taken 
against Devadatta announcing publicly that 'Whatever Devadatta 
does by deed or word, should be seen as Devadatta's own and has 
nothing to do with the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Samgha " The 
account of this action is followed by the story of Devadatta's three 
attempts on the life of the Buddha and the schism caused by 
Devadatta among the Samgha. 

There is, in section ten, the story of how Mahapajapati, the 
Buddha's foster mother, requested admission into the Order, how 
the Buddha refused permission at first, and how he finally acceded 
to the request because of Ananda's entreaties on her behalf. 

The last two sections describe two important events of historical 
interest, namely, the holding of the first Synod at Rajagaha and of the 
second Synod at Vesali. 

5. Parivara Pali 


Panvara Pali which is Book V and the last book of the Vinaya 
Pitaka serves as a kind of manual. It is compiled in the form of a 
catechism, enabling the reader to rrmke an analytical survey of the 
Vinaya Pitaka. All the rules, official acts, and other matters of the 
Vinaya are classified under separate categories according to subjects 
dealt with. 

Parivara explains how rules of the Order are drawn up to regulate 
the conduct of the bhikkhus as well as the administrative affairs of 
the Order. Precise procedures are prescribed for settling of disputes 

Chp2 Vmaya Pitaka 15 

and handling matters of jurisprudence, for formation of Sarfigha 
courts and appointment of well-qualified Samgha judges It lays 
down how Samgha Vimcchaya Committee, the Samgha court, is to 
be constituted with a body of learned Vinayadharas, experts in 
Vinaya rules, to hear and decide all kinds of monastic disputes. 

The Parivara Pali provides general principles and guidance in 
the spirit of which all the Samgha Vinicchaya proceedings are to be 
conducted for settlement of monastic disputes. 



The Suttanta Pitaka is a collection of all the discourses in their 
entirety delivered by the Buddha on various occasions (A few 
discourses delivered by some of the distinguished disciples of the 
Buddha, such as the Venerable Sariputta, Maha Moggallana, Ananda, 
etc , as well as some narratives are also included in the books of the 
Suttanta Pitaka.) The discourses of the Buddha compiled together 
in the Suttanta Pitaka were expounded to suit different occasions, 
for various persons with different temperaments Although the 
discourses were mostly intended for the benefit of bhikkhus, and 
deal with the practice of the pure life and with the exposition of the 
Teaching, there are also several other discourses which deal with 
the material and moral progress of the lay disciples 

The Suttanta Pitaka brings out the meaning of the Buddha's 
teachings, expresses them clearly, protects and guards them against 
distortion and misconstruction Just like a string which serves as a 
plumb-line to guide the carpenters in their work, just like a thread 
which protects flowers from being scattered or dispersed when 
strung together by it, likewise by means of suttas, the meaning of 
Buddha's teachings may be brought out clearly, grasped and under- 
stood correctly and given perfect protection from being misconstrued. 

The Suttanta Pitaka isjlivided into five separate collections known 
as Nikayas. They are Digha Nikaya, Majjhima Nikaya, Samyutta 
Nikaya, Mguttara Nikaya and Khuddaka Nikaya. 

(a) Observances and Practices in the Teaching of the Buddha 

In the Suttanta Pitaka are found not only the fundamentals of 
the Dhamma but also pragmatic guidelines to make .the Dhamma 
meaningful and applicable to daily life. All observances and practices 
which form practical steps in the Buddha's Noble Path of Eight 
Constituents lead to spiritual purification at three levels 

Chp3 What t$ Suttanta Pttaka? 17 

S lla - moral purity through right conduct, 

Samadht - purity of mind through concentration (Samatha), 

Pannd - purity of Insight through Vipassana Meditation. 

To begin with, one must make the right resolution to take refuge 
in the Buddha, to follow the Buddha's Teaching, and to be guided by 
the Samgha The first disciples who made the declaration of faith in 
the Buddha and committed themselves to follow his Teaching were 
the two merchant brothers, Tapussa and Bhallika They were travell- 
ing with their followers in five hundred carts when they saw the 
Buddha in the vicinity of the Bodhi Tree after his Enlightenment Hie 
two merchants offered him honey rice cakes. Accepting their offering 
and thus breaking the fast he had imposed on himself for seven 
weeks, the Buddha made them his disciples by letting them recite 
after him: 

"Buddham Saranam Gacchami" 
(I take refuge in the Buddha) 

"Dhammam Saranam Gacchami" 
(I take refuge in the Dhamma) 

This recitation became the formula of declaration of faith in the 
Buddha and his Teaching. Later when the Samgha became establish- 
ed, the formula was extended to include the third commitment 

"Samgham Saranam Gacchami" 
(I take refuge in the Samgha) 

(b) On the right way to give alms 

As a practical step, capable of immediate and fruitful use by 
people in all walks of life, the Buddha gave discourses on charity, 
alms-giving, explaining its virtues and on the right way and the right 
attitude of mind with which an offering is to be made for spiritual 

The motivating force in an act of charity is the volition, the will 
to give. Charily is a meritorious action that arises only out of volition. 

18 Guide to Tipitaka 

Without the will to give, there is no act of giving Volition in giving 
alms is of three types. 

(1) The volition that starts with the thought "I shall make an 
offering" and that exists during the period of preparations for 
making the offering Pubba Cetana, volition before the act 

(2) The volition that arises at the moment of making the offering 
while handing over to the donee Munca Cetana, volition 
during the act. 

(3) The volition accompanying the joy and rejoicing which arise 
during repeated recollection of or reflection on the act of 
giving Apara Cetana, volition after the act 

Whether the offering is made in homage to the living Buddha 
or to a minute particle of his relics after his passing away, it is the 
volition, its strength and purity that determine the nature of the 
result thereof. 

There is also explained in the discourses the wrong attitude of 
mind with which no act of charity should be performed 

A donor should avoid looking down on others who cannot make 
a similar offering nor should he exult over his own charity. Defiled 
by such unworthy thoughts, his volition is only of inferior grade. 

When the act of charity is motivated by expectations of beneficial 
results of immediate prosperity and happiness, or rebirth in higher 
existences, the accompanying volition is classed as mediocre. 

It is only when the good deed of alms-giving is performed out of 
a spirit of renunciation, motivated by thoughts of pure selflessness, 
aspiring only for attainment to Nibbana where all suffering ends, that 
the volition that brings about the act is regarded as of superior grade. 

Examples abound in the discourses concerning charity and 
modes of giving alms. 

(c) Moral Purity through right conduct, Site, 

Practice of Sila forms a most fundamental aspect of Buddhism. 
It consists of practice of Right Speech, Right Action and Right 
livelihood to purge oneself of impure deeds, words and thoughts. 
Together with the commitment to the Threefold Refuge (as de- 

Chp3 What ts Suttanta Pttaka? 19 

scribed above) a Buddhist lay disciple observes the Five Precepts by 
making a formal vow 

(1) I undertake to observe the precept of abstaining from killing 

(2) I undertake to observe the precept of abstaining from stealing 

(3) I undertake to observe the precept of abstaining from sexual 

(4) I undertake to observe the precept of abstaining from telling 

(5) I undertake to observe the precept of abstaining from alcoholic 
drinks, drugs or intoxicants that becloud the mind. 

In addition to the negative aspect of the above formula which em- 
phasizes abstinence, there is also the positive aspect of si la For in- 
stance, we find in many discourses the statement 'He refrains from 
killing, puts aside the cudgel and the sword, full of kindness and 
compassion he lives for the welfare and happiness of all living things/ 
Every precept laid down in the formula has these two aspects 

Depending upon the individual and the stage of one's progress, 
other forms of precepts, namely, Eight Precepts, Ten Precepts etc 
may be observed For the bhikkhus of the Order, higher and advanc- 
ed types of practices of morality are laid down The Five Precepts 
are to be always observed by lay disciples who may occasionally en- 
hance their self-discipline by observing the Eight or Ten Precepts 
For those who have already embarked on the path of a holy life, the 
Ten Precepts are essential preliminaries to further progress 

Sila of perfect purity serves as a foundation for the next stage of 
progress, namely, Samadhi purity of mind through concentration- 

(d) Practical methods of mental cultivation for development 
of concentration, Samadhi 

Mental cultivation for spiritual uplift consists of two steps. The 
first step is to purify the mind from all defilements and corruption and 
to have it focused on a point A determined effort (Right Exertion) 

20 Guide to Tipitaka 

must be made to narrow down the range of thoughts in the wavering, 
unsteady mmd Then attention (Right Mindfulness or Attentiveness) 
must be fixed on a selected object of meditation until one-pointedness 
of mind (Right Concentration) is achieved In such a state, the mmd 
becomes freed from hindrances, pure, tranquil, powerful and bright 
It is then ready to advance to the second step by which Magga Insight 
and Fruition may be attained in order to transcend the state of woe 
and sorrow 

The Suttanta Pitaka records numerous methods of meditation 
to bring about one-pomtedness of mind In the suttas of the Pitaka are 
dispersed these methods of meditation, explained by the Buddha 
sometimes singly, sometimes collectively to suit the occasion and 
the purpose for which they are recommended The Buddha knew 
the diversity of character and mental make-up of each individual, the 
different temperaments and inclinations of those who approached 
him for guidance. Accordingly he recommended different methods 
to different persons to suit the special character and need of each 

The practice of mental cultivation which results ultimately m 
one-pointedness of mind is known as Samadhi Bhavand Whoever 
wishes to develop Samadhi Bhavand must have been established in 
the observance of the precepts, with the senses controlled, calm and 
self-possessed, and must be contented Having been established m 
these four conditions he selects a place suitable for meditation, a se- 
cluded spot Then he should sit cross-legged keeping his body erect 
and his mind alert, he should start purifying his mind of five hind- 
rances, namely, sensual desire, ill will, sloth and torpor, restlessness 
and worry, and doubt, by choosing a meditation method suitable to 
him, practising meditation with zeal and ardour For instance, with 
theAndpdna method he keeps watching the incoming and outgoing 
breath until he can have his mind fixed securely on the breath at the 
tip of the nose. 

When he realizes that the five hindrances have been got rid of, 
he becomes gladdened, delighted, calm and blissful This is the begin- 
ning of samadhi, concentration, which will further develop until it 
attains one-pointedness of mind. 

Thus one-pointedness of mind is concentration of mmd when it 
is aware of one object, and only one of a wholesome, salutary nature 

Chp3 What ts Suttanta Pttaka? 21 

This is attained by the practice of meditation upon one of the 
subjects recommended for the purpose by the Buddha 

(e) Practical methods of mental cultivation for development 

of Insight Knowledge, PaMa 

The subject and methods of meditation as taught in the suttas 
of the Pitaka are designed both for attainment of samadht as well as 
for development of Insight knowledge, Vipassana Nana, as a direct 
path to Nibbana 

As a second step in the practice of meditation, after achieving 
samadht, when the concentrated mind has become purified, firm and 
imperturbable, the meditator directs and inclines his mind to Insight 
Knowledge, Vipassana Nana With this Insight Knowledge he dis- 
cerns the three characteristics of the phenomenal world, namely, 
Impermanence (Aniccd), Suffering (Dukkha) and Non-Self (Anatta). 

As he advances in his practice and his mind becomes more and 
more purified, firm and imperturbable, he directs and inclines his 
mind to the ^knowledge of the extinction of moral intoxicants, 
Asavakkhaya Nana He then truly understands dukkha, the cause of 
dukkha, the cessation of dukkha and the path leading to the ces- 
sation of dukkha He also comes to understand fully the moral intoxi- 
cants (asavas) as they really are, the cause of asavas, the cessation 
of asavas and the path leading to the cessation of the asavas 

With this knowledge of extinction of asavas he becomes liberated 
The knowledge of liberation arises in him. He knows that rebirth is 
no more, that he has lived the holy life, he has done what he has to 
do for the realization of Magga, there is nothing more for him to do 
for such realization 

The Buddha taught with one only object the extinction of 
Suffering and release from conditioned existence. That object is to 
be obtained by the practice of meditation (for Calm and Insight) as 
laid down in numerous suttas of the Suttanta Pitaka 




Digha Nikaya 

Collection of Long Discourses of the Buddha 

This collection in the Suttanta Pitaka, named Digha Nikaya as it 
is made up of thirty-four long discourses of the Buddha, is divided into 
three divisions (a) Silakkhanda Vagga, Division Concerning Morality 
(b) Maha Vagga, the Large Division (c) Pathika Vagga, the Division 
beginning with the discourse on Pathika, the Naked Ascetic 

(a) Sllakkhandha Vagga Pali 

Division Concerning Morality 

This division contains thirteen suttas which deal extensively with 
various types of morality, namely, Minor Morality, basic morality ap- 
plicable to all, Middle Morality and Major Morality which are mostly 
practised by Samanas and Brahmanas It also discusses the wrong 
views then prevalent as well as Brahmin views of sacrifice and caste, 
and various religious practices such as extreme self-mortification 

(1) Brahxnajala Sutta, Discourse on the Net of Perfect Wisdom 

An argument between Suppiya, a wandering ascetic, and his 
pupil Brahmadatta, with the teacher maligning the Buddha, the 
Dhamma and the Samgha and the pupil praising the Buddha, the 
Dhamma and the Samgha gave rise to this famous discourse which 
is listed first in this Nikaya 

In connection with the maligning of the Buddha, the Dhamma 
and the Samgha, the Buddha enjoined his disciples not to feel resent- 
ment, nor displeasure, nor anger, because it would only be spiritual- 
ly harmful to them As to the words of praise for the Buddha, the 
Dhamma and the Samgha, the Buddha advised his disciples not to 
feel pleased, delighted or elated, for it would be an obstacle to their 
progress in the Path 

Chp4 Suttanta Pitaka 23 

The Buddha said that whatever worldling, puthujjana, praised 
the Buddha he could not do full justice to the peerless virtues of the 
Buddha, namely, his Superior Concentration, samddhi, and Wisdom, 
panna A worldling could touch on only "matters of a trifling and in- 
ferior nature, mere morality." The Buddha explained the three grades 
of morality and said that there were other dhammas profound, hard 
to see, subtle and intelligible only to the wise Anyone wishing to 
praise correctly the true virtues of the Buddha should do so only in 
terms of these dhammas 

Then the Buddha continued to expound on various wrong views 
There were samanas and brahmanas who, speculating on the past, 
adhered to and asserted their wrong views in eighteen different 
ways, namely 

(1) Four Kinds of Belief in Eternity, Sassata Ditthi 

(2) Four Kinds of Dualistic belief in Eternity and Non-eternity, 
Ekacca Sassata Ditthi 

(3) Four Views of the World being Finite or Infinite, Antananta 

(4) Four Kinds of ambiguous evasion, Amardvikkhepa Vdda 

(5) Two Doctrines of Non-Causality, Adhiccasamuppanna Vdda 

There were samanas and brahmanas, who, speculating on the 
future, adhered to and asserted their wrong views in forty-four ways, 

(1) Sixteen Kinds of Belief in the Existence of Safina after death, 
Uddhamdghdtamka Sanm Vdda 

(2) Eight Kinds of Belief m the Non-Existence of Safina after 
death, Uddhamdghdtamka Asannt Vdda 

(3) Eight Kinds of Belief in the Existence of Neither safina Nor 
Non-sanna after death, Uddhamdghdtanika Nevasanni 
Ndsannt Vdda 

(4) Seven Kinds of Belief in Annihilation, Uccheda Vdda 

(5) Five Kinds of Mundane Nibbana as realizable in this very life, 
Ditthadhamma Nibbana Vdda. 

24 Guide to Tipitaka 

The Buddha said that whatever samanas and brahmanas specu- 
lated on the past, or the future or both the past and the future, they 
did so in these sixty-two ways or one of these sixty-two ways 

The Buddha announced further that he knew all these wrong 
views and also what would be the destination, the next existence, in 
which the one holding these views would be reborn 

The Buddha gave a detailed analysis of these wrong views assert- 
ed in sixty-two ways and pointed out that these views had their origin 
in feeling which arose as a result of repeated contact through the six 
sense bases. Whatever person holds these wrong views, in him feeling 
gives rise to craving; ciaving gives rise to clinging, clinging gives rise 
to existence; the kammic causal process in existence gives rise to 
rebirth, and rebirth gives rise to ageing, death, gnef, lamentation, 
pain, distress and despair 

But whatever person knows, as they really are, the origin of the 
six sense bases of contact, their cessation, their pleasurableness, their 
danger and the way of escape from them, he realizes the dhammas, 
not only mere morality, stla, but also concentration, samadhi, and libe- 
ration, vtmutti, wisdom, panna, that transcend all these wrong views 

All the samanas and brahmanas holding the sixty-two categories 
of wrong views are caught in the net of this discourse just like all the 
fish in a lake are contained in a finely meshed net spread by a skilful 
fisherman or his apprentice 

(2) Samannaphala Sutta, Discourse on the Fruits of the life 
of a Samana 

On one fullmoon night while the Buddha was residing in 
Rajagaha at the mango grove of Jivaka this discourse on the fruits of 
the life of a samana, personally experienced in this very life, was 
taught to King Ajatasattu on request by him The Buddha explained 
to him the advantage of the life of a samana by giving him the exam- 
ples of a servant of his household or a landholder cultivating the 
King's own land becoming a samana to whom the King himself would 
show respect and make offerings of requisites, providing him pro- 
tection and security at the same time. 

The Buddha provided further elucidation on other advantages, 
higher and better, of being a samana by elaborating on (i) how a 

Chp4 Suttanta Pttaka 25 

householder, hearing the dhamrna taught by a Buddha, leaves the 
homelife and becomes a sarnana out of pure faith; (ii) how he be- 
comes established in three categories of sila, minor, middle and 
major, (iii) how he gains control over his sense-faculties so that no 
depraved states of mind as covetousness and dissatisfaction would 
overpower him; (iv) how he becomes endowed with mmdfulness 
and clear comprehension and remains contented; (v) how, by dis- 
sociating himself from five hindrances, he achieves the four jhanas 
the first, the second, the third and the fourth as higher advan- 
tages than those previously mentioned, (vi) how he becomes equipp- 
ed with eight kinds of higher knowledge, namely, Insight Knowledge, 
the Power of Creation by Mmd, the Psychic Powers, the Divine 
Power of Hearing, Knowledge of the Minds of others, Knowledge of 
Past Existences, Divine Power of Sight, Knowledge of Extinction of 
moral intoxicants 

Thus when the knowledge of liberation arises in him, he knows 
he has lived the life of purity There is no other advantage of being a 
samana, personally experienced, more pleasing and higher than this 

(3) Ambattha Sutta 

Ambattha, a young disciple of Pokkharasati, the learned Brahmin, 
was sent by his master to investigate whether Gotama was a genuine 
Buddha endowed with thirty-two personal characteristics of a great 
man His insolent behaviour, taking pride in his birth as a Brahmin, 
led the Buddha to subdue him by proving that Khattiya is m fact 
superior to Brahmana The Buddha explained further that nobleness 
in man stemmed not from birth but from perfection in three 
categones of morality, achievements of four jhanas, and accom- 
plishments in eight kinds of higher knowledge. 

(4) Sonadanda Sutta 

This discourse was given to the Brahmin Sonadanda who ap- 
proached the Buddha while he was residing near Lake Gaggara at 
Campa in the country of Anga He was asked by the Buddha what 
attributes should one possess to be acknowledged as a Brahmin 
Sonadanda enumerated high birth, learning in the Vedas, good per- 

26 Guide to Ttpitaka 

sonality, morality and knowledge as essential qualities to be a 
Brahmin. When further questioned by the Buddha, he said that the 
minimum qualifications were morality and knowledge without which 
no one would be entitled to be called a Brahmin. On his request, the 
Buddha explained to him the meaning of the terms morality and 
knowledge, which he confessed to be ignorant of, namely, the three 
categories of morality, achievements of four jhanas and accomplish- 
ments in eight kinds of higher knowledge. 

(5) Kutadanta Sutta 

On the eve of offering a great sacrificial feast, the Brahmin 
Kutadanta went to see the Buddha for advice on how best to conduct 
the" sacrifice Giving the example of a former King Mahavijita, who 
also made a great sacrificial offering, the Buddha declared the prin- 
ciple of consent by four parties from the provinces, namely, noblemen, 
ministers, rich Brahmins and house-holders; the eight qualities to 
be possessed by the king who would make the offerings; the four 
qualities of the Brahmin royal adviser who would conduct the cere- 
monies and the three attitudes of mind towards the sacrifices With 
all these conditions fulfilled, the feast offered by the king was a great 
success, with no loss of life of sacrificial animals, no hardship on the 
people, no one impressed into service, every one co-operating in the 
great feast willingly. 

The Brahmin Kutadanta then asked the Buddha if there was any 
sacrifice which could be made with less trouble and exertion, yet pro- 
ducing more fruitful result The Buddha told him of the traditional 
practice of offering the four requisites to bhikkhus of high morality. 
Less troublesome and more profitable again was donating a monaste- 
ry to the Order of Bhikkhus Better still were the following practices 
in ascending order of beneficial effects (i) Going to the Buddha, the 
Dhamma, and the Samgha for refuge; (ii) observances of the Five 
Precepts; (iii) going forth from the homelife and leading the holy life, 
becoming established in morality, accomplished in the four jhanas, 
and equipped with eight kinds of higher knowledge resulting in the 
realization of extinction of asavas, the sacrifice which entails less trou- 
ble and exertion but which excels all other sacrifices. 

Chp4 Suttanta Pttaka 27 

(6) Mahali Sutta 

Mahali Otthaddha, a licchavi ruler, once came to see the Buddha 
to whom he recounted what Sunakkhatta, a Licchavi prince, had told 
him. Sunakkhatta had been a disciple of the Buddha for three years 
after which he left the Teaching. He told Mahali how he had acquired 
the Divine Power of Sight by which he had seen myriads of pleasant, 
desirable forms belonging to the deva world but that he had not heard 
sounds belonging to the deva world. Mahali wanted to know from the 
Buddha whether Sunakkhatta did not hear the sounds of the deva 
world because they were non-existent, or whether he did not hear 
them although they existed 

The Buddha explained that there were sounds in the deva world 
but Sunakkhatta did not hear them because he had developed con- 
centration only for one purpose, to achieve the Divine Power of Sight 
but not the Divine Power of Hearing 

The Buddha explained further that his disciples practised the 
noble life under him not to acquire such divine powers but with a 
view to the realization of dhammas which far excel and transcend 
these mundane kinds of concentrations. Such dhammas are attain- 
ments of the Four States of Noble Fruition states of a stream-winner, 
a once-returner, a non-returner, and the state of mind and know- 
ledge of an Arahat freed of all asavas that have been rendered extinct 

The Path by which these dhammas can be realized is the Noble 
Path of Eight Constituents Right View, Right Thought, Right 
Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right 
Mindfulness, Right Concentration 

(7) Jaliya Sutta 

Once when the Buddha was residing at Ghositarama Monastery 
near Kosambi, two wandering ascetics Mundiya and Jaliya 
approached him and asked whether the soul was the physical body, 
or the physical body the soul, or whether the soul was one thing and 
the physical body another. 

The Buddha explained how a person who had finally realized 
liberation would not even consider whether the soul was the phy- 
sical body, or the physical body the soul or whether the soul was 
one thing and the physical body another. 

28 Guide to Tipttaka 

(8) Mafaasihanada Sutta 

This discourse defines what a true samana is, what a true brah- 
mana is. The Buddha was residing in the Deer Park of Kannakathala 
at Ururina. Then the naked ascetic Kassapa approached him and said 
that he had heard that Samana Gotama disparaged all practices of 
self-mortification and that Samana Gotama reviled all those who led 
an austere life. 

The Buddha replied that they were slandering him with what 
was not said, what was not true. When the Buddha could see with his 
supernormal vision the bad destinies as well as the good destinies of 
those who practised extreme form of self-mortification, and of those 
who practised less extreme forms of self-mortification, how could he 
revile all systems of self- mortification 

Kassapa then maintained that only those recluses who for the 
whole of their life cultivated the practice of standing or sitting, who 
were abstemious in food, eating only once in two days, seven days, 
fifteen days etc , were real samanas and br ahmanas The Buddha 
explained to him the futility of extreme self-mortification and said that 
only when a recluse practised to become accomplished in morality, 
concentration and knowledge, cultivated loving-kindness, and dwelt 
in the emancipation of mind, and emancipation through knowledge 
that he would be entitled to be called a samana and brahmana Then 
the Buddha gave full exposition on morality, concentration and 
knowledge, resulting in Kassapa's decision to join the Order of the 

(9) Pottapada Sutta 

Once when the Buddha was staying at the Monastery of 
Anathapindika in the Jeta Grove at Savatthi he visited the EkasSaka 
Hall where various views were debated. At that time Potthapada the 
wandering ascetic asked him about the nature of the cessation of 
Consciousness (sanna). Pottapada wanted to know how the cessation 
of Consciousness was brought about The Buddha told him that it 
was through reason and cause that forms of Consciousness in a being 
arose and ceased. A certain form of Consciousness arose through 
practice (Adhuitta sikkha) and a certain form of Consciousness 
ceased through practice. 

Chp4 Suttanta Pttaka 29 

The Buddha then proceeded to expound on these practices 
consisting of observance of sila and development of concentration 
which resulted in arising and ceasing of successive jhanas The 
meditator progressed from one stage to the next in sequence until 
he achieved the Cessation of all forms of Consciousness (mrodha 
samapattt) . 

(10) Subfaa Sutta 

This is a discourse given not by the Buddha but by his close 
attendant, the Venerable Ananda, on the request of young Subha The 
Buddha had passed away by then. And young Subha wanted to 
know from the lips of the Buddha's close attendant what dhammas 
were praised by the Buddha and what those dhammas were which he 
urged people to practise 

Ananda told him that the Buddha had words of praise for the 
three aggregates of dhammas, namely, the aggregate of morality, the 
aggregate of concentration and the aggregate of knowledge The 
Buddha urged people to practise these dhammas, dwell in them, 
and have them firmly established. Ananda explained these aggre- 
gates of dhamma in great detail to young Subha, in consequence of 
which he became a devoted lay disciple 

(11) Kevatta Sutta 

The Buddha was residing at Nalanda in Pavarika's mango grove 
A devoted lay disciple approached the Buddha and urged him to let 
one of his disciples perform miracles so that the City of Nalanda 
would become ever so much devoted to the Buddha. 

The Buddha told him about the three kinds of miracles which 
he had known and realized by himself through supernormal know- 
ledge The first miracle, iddhi pdtihdnya, was rejected by the Buddha 
because it could be mistaken as the black art called Gandhari magic 
The Buddha also rejected the second miracle, adesana pdtihdnya 
which might be mistaken as practice of Cintamani charm. He re 
commended the performance of the third miracle, the anusasam 
pdtihanya, the miracle of the power of the Teaching as it involved 
practice in Morality, Concentration and Knowledge leading finally to 
the Extinction of Asavas, Asavakkhaya Nana. 

30 Guide to Ttpitaka 

(12) Lohicca Sutta 

The discourse lays down three types of blameworthy teachers; 
(i) the teacher who is not yet accomplished in the noble practice and 
teaches pupils who do not listen to him. (li) The teacher who is not 
yet accomplished in the noble practice and teaches pupils who practise 
as instructed by him and attain emancipation, (lii) The teacher who 
is fully accomplished in the noble practice and teaches pupils who 
do not listen to him 

The praiseworthy teacher is one who has become fully accom- 
plished in the three practices of Morality, Concentration and Know- 
ledge and teaches pupils who become fully accomplished like him. 

(13) Tevijja Sutta 

Two Brahmin youths Vasettha and Bharadvaja came to see the 
Buddha while he was on a tour through the Kingdom of Kosala They 
wanted the Buddha to settle their dispute as to the correct path that 
led straight to companionship with the Brahma Each one thought 
only the way shown by his own master was the true one 

The Buddha told them that as none of their masters had seen 
the Brahma, they were like a line of blind men each holding on to the 
preceding one Then he showed them the true path that really led to 
the Brahma realm, namely, the path of morality and concentration, 
and development of loving-kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and 
equanimity towards all sentient beings. 

(b) Maha Vagga Pali 

The Large Division 

The ten suttas in this division are some of the most important 
ones of the Tipitaka, dealing with historical, and biographical aspects 
as well as the doctrinal aspects of Buddhism The most famous sutta 
is the Mahaparinibbana Sutta which gives an account of the last days 
and the passing away of the Buddha and the distribution of his 
relics Mahapadana Sutta deals with brief accounts of the last seven 
Buddhas and the life story of the Vipassi Buddha Doctrinally im- 
portant are the two suttas* the Mahanidana Sutta which explains the 
Chain of Cause and Effect, and the Mahasatipatthana Sutta dealing 

Chp4 Suttanta Pttaka 31 

with the four Methods of Steadfast Mindfulness and practical aspects 
of Buddhist meditation. 

(1) Mahapadana Sutta 

This discourse was given at Savatthi to the bhikkhus who were 
one day discussing the Buddha's knowledge of past existences. He 
told them about the last seven Buddhas, with a full life story of one 
of them, the Vipassi Buddha, recalling all the facts of the Buddhas, 
their social rank, name, clan, life-span, the pairs of Chief Disciples, 
the assemblies of their followers, their attainments, and emancipation 
of defilements. 

The Buddha explained that his ability to remember and recall 
all the facts of past existences was due to his own penetrating discern- 
ment as well as due to the devas making these matters known to him. 

(2) Mahanidana Sutta 

This discourse was given at Kammasadhamma market town to 
the Venerable Ananda to correct his wrong view that the doctrine of 
Paticcasamuppada, although having signs of being deep and profound, 
was apparent and fathomable. The Buddha told him that this doc- 
trine not only appeared to be deep and profound but was actually 
deep and profound on four counts it was deep in meaning, deep as a 
doctrine, deep with respect to the manner in which it was taught, 
and deep with regard to the facts on which it was established 

He then gave a thorough exposition on the doctrine and said that 
because of lack of proper understanding and penetrative comprehen- 
sion of this doctrine; beings were caught in and unable to escape 
from, the miserable, ruinous round of rebirth He concluded that 
without a clear understanding of this doctrine, even the mind of those, 
accomplished in the attainments of jhana, would be beclouded with 
ideas of atta. 

(3) Mahaparinibbana Sutta 

This sutta is an important narrative of the Buddha's last days, a 
detailed chronicle of what he did, what he said and what happened to 
him during the last year of his life Compiled in a narrative form, it is 

32 Guide to Ttpttaka 

interspersed with many discourses on some of the most fundamental 
and important aspects of the Buddha's Teaching Being the longest 
discourse of the Digha Nikaya, it is divided into six chapters. 

On the eve of the last great tour, the Buddha while staying at 
Rajagaha, gave the famous discourses on seven factors of Non-decline 
of kings and princes and seven factors of Non-decline of the bhikkhus. 

Then he set out on his last journey going first to the village of 
Patali where he taught on the consequences of an immoral and a 
moral life He then proceeded to the village of Koti where he ex- 
pounded on the Four Noble Truths Then the Buddha took up his 
residence at the village of Natika where the famous discourse on the 
Mirror of Truth was given 

Next the Buddha went to Vesali with a large company of bhik- 
khus. At Vesali he accepted the park offered by the Courtesan 
Ambapali From Vesali, the Buddha travelled to a small village named 
Veluva where he was overtaken by a severe illness that could have 
proved fatal But the Buddha resolved to maintain the life-process 
and not to pass away without addressing his lay disciples and 
without taking leave of the Sarhgha. When Ananda informed the 
Buddha how worried he had been because of the Buddha's illness, 
the Buddha gave the famous injunction "Let yourselves be your own 
support, your own refuge Let the Dhamma, not anything else, be 
your refuge " 

It was at Vesali that the Buddha made the decision to pass away 
and realize parinibbana in three months' time Upon his making this 
momentous decision, there was a great earthquake. Ananda, on learn- 
ing from the Buddha the reason of the earthquake, supplicated him 
to change the decision, but to no avail 

The Buddha then caused the Sarhgha to be assembled to whom 
he announced his approaching parinibbana He then went over all 
the fundamental principles of his Teaching and exhorted them to be 
vigilant, alert, and to watch over one's own mind so as to make an 
end of suffering 

The Buddha then left Vesali and went to Bhanda Village where 
he continued to give his discourses to the accompanying Samgha on 
sila, samadhi and panna. Proceeding further on his journey to the nor- 
th, he gave the discourse on the four great Authorities, Mahapadesa, 
at the town of Bhoga. 

Chp4 Suttanta Pitaka 33 

From there he went on to Pava and stayed in the Mango Grove 
of Cunda, the Goldsmith's son, who made an offering of food to the 
Buddha and his community of bhikkhus. After eating the meal 
offered by Cunda, a severe illness came upon the Buddha who never- 
theless continued on his journey till he reached Kusinara where in 
the Sal Grove of the Malla princes he urged Ananda to lay out the 
couch for him He lay down on the couch with mindfulness and 
deliberation, awaiting the hour of his parinibbana 

Even on his death-bed the Buddha continued to teach, ex- 
plaining that there are four places which arouse reverence and devo- 
tion, four persons worthy of a stupa, and answering Ananda's ques- 
tions on how to conduct oneself with regard to women, or on what 
should be done regarding the remains of the Buddha. His last act of 
selflessness was to expound the Truth and show the Path to 
Subhadda, the wandering ascetic. 

Then after ascertaining that there was not a single bhikkhu 
who had perplexity or doubt about the Buddha, the Dhamma and 
the Samgha, the Buddha uttered his last words "Inherent in all com- 
pounded things is decay and dissolution Strive well with full mind- 

Then as the assembled bhikkhus, princes and people paid 
homage to him with deep reverence, the Buddha passed away, realiz- 
ing parinibbana. 

(4) Mahasudassana Sutta 

This discourse was given by the Buddha while he was lying on 
his death-bed in the Sal Grove of the Mallas When Ananda 
implored him not to realize parinibbana in an insignificant, barren, 
small town, the Buddha told him that Kusinara was not an 
insignificant, small place In times long past, it was known as 
Kusavati, the capital city of Universal Monarchs who ruled over the 
four quarters of the world. 

The Buddha then described the magnificence and grandeur of 
Kusavati when King Mahasudassana was the ruler there He also told 
how the King ruled over his dominions righteously and how finally 
abandoning all attachments and practising jhana he passed away 
and reached the blissful Brahma realm. 

34 Guide to Tipitaka 

The Buddha revealed that he himself was King Mahasudassana 
of that time. He had cast off the body in this place (former Kusavatf) 
for six times as a Universal Monarch Now he was casting it_off for 
the seventh and last time He ended the discourse reminding Ananda 
that all compounded things are indeed impermanent Arising and 
decaying are their inherent nature. Only their ultimate cessation is 
blissful Nibbana. 

(5) Janavasabha Sutta 

This discourse is an extension of ^another discourse delivered 
by the Buddha on his last journey Ananda wanted to know the 
destinies of lay disciples from the country of Magadha The Buddha 
told him that innumerable persons from Magadha had reached the 
deva world by virtue of their faith in the Buddha, the Dhamma and 
the Samgha. This information was given him by Janavasabha Deva 
who was formerly King Bimbisara He informed the Buddha that 
there were regular assemblies of devas in the deva realm on uposatha 
days when the king of the devas and Safiankumara Brahma taught 
the Dhamma on development of the Bases of Psychic Power, on the 
Three Opportunities, on the Four Methods of Steadfast Mmdfulness 
and the Seven Accessories of Concentration 

(6) Mahagovinda Sutta 

In this discourse, Pancasikha, a gandhabba deva, told the deva 
assembly where Sanankumara Brahma taught the Dhamma as shown 
by Mahagovinda, the Bodhisatta who had reached the Brahma world 
The Buddha said that Mahagovinda was none other than himself and 
explained that the Dhamma he taught at that time could lead one 
only to the Brahma World. With his Teaching now as Enlightened 
Buddha, higher attainments such as the Sotapatti, Sakadagami, 
Anagami and the highest achievement Arahatta phala were possible 

(7) Mahasamaya Sutta 

The Buddha was residing in the Mahavana forest at Kapilavatthu 
with a company of Arahats numbering five hundred Then devas and 
Brahmas from ten thousand Cakkavalas came to see the Buddha 

Chp4 Suttanta Pttaka 35 

and the community of bhikkhus. The Buddha told his disciples the 
names of the devas and Brahmas as listed in this sutta. 

(8) Sakkapanha Sutta 

Once when the Buddha was residing at the Indasala Cave near 
Rajagaha, Sakka, the king of devas, came to him to ask certain 
questions He wanted to know why there were hostility and violence 
among various beings The Buddha told him it was envy and selfish- 
ness that brought about hostility among beings He further explained 
that envy and selfishness were caused by likes and dislikes, which 
in turn had their roots in desire. And desire grew from mental pre- 
occupation (vitakka) which had its origin in samsara-expanding illu- 
sions (frapanca-sanna-sahkhd) 

The Buddha then gave an outline of practices to remove these 
samsara-expanding illusions including two types of quests, quests 
that should be pursued and quests that should not be pursued 

(9) Mahasatipatthana Sutta 

This sutta is one of the most important doctrinal discourses of 
the Buddha. It propounds the only way 'for the purification of beings, 
for overcoming sorrow and lamentation, for the complete removal of 
pain and grief, for the attainment of the right path, and for the realiza- 
tion of Nibbana' This discourse, given directly to the bhikkhus at the 
market town of Kamrnasadhamma, defines 'the only way' as the Four 
Methods of Steadfast Mindfulness made up of fourteen ways of con- 
templating the body, nine ways of contemplating sensation, sixteen 
ways of contemplating the mind, and five ways of contemplating the 
dhamma It ends with a definite assurance of fruitful results Arahatship 
in this very existence or the state of an anagami within seven years, 
seven months or seven days 

(10) Payasi Sutta 

This discourse recounts how the Venerable Kurnarakassapa 
showed the right path to Governor Payasi of Setabya town in Kosala 
country Governor Payasi held the wrong belief. '"There is no other 
world, no beings arise again after death, there are no consequences 

36 Guide to Ttpitaka 

of good or bad deeds " The Venerable Kumarakassapa showed him 
the right path, illustrating his teaching with numerous illuminating 
similes. Ultimately Payasi became full of faith and took refuge in the 
Buddha, the Dhamma and the Samgha The Venerable Kumarakassapa 
taught him also the right kind of offerings to be made and that these 
offerings should be made with due respect, by one's own hands, with 
due esteem and not as if discarding them Only under these con- 
ditions would the good deed of offering bear splendid fruits 

(c) Pathika Vagga Pali 

This division is made up of eleven shorter discourses of a mis- 
cellaneous nature They deal with the Buddha's rejection of wrong and 
severe asceticism practised by followers of many sects, they deal 
also with the periodical evolution and dissolution of the universe, the 
accounts of Universal Monarch and the thirty-two physiognomic cha- 
racteristics of a great man There is one discourse, Singala Sutta, 
addressed to a young Brahmin showing the duties to be performed 
by members of the human society The last two suttas, Sangiti and 
Dasuttara, are discourses given by the Venerable Sanputta and they 
contain lists of doctrinal terms classified according to subject matter 
and numerical units The style of their composition is different from 
the other nine suttas of the division 

(1) Pathika Sutta 

At the time of the Buddha, there were many other teachers with 
their own disciples, holding different views on what constituted the 
holy life, on the origin and development of the universe, and on the 
performance of wonders and miracles Sunakkhatta, a Licchvi prince, 
became a disciple of the Buddha and was admitted into the Order 

But he found the discipline and the Teaching to be beyond him 
and his comprehension; he became at the same time attracted to the 
teaching and practices of other sects He left the Order after three 
years. Then becoming a follower of one of the sects he began to dis- 
parage the teachings of the Buddha, and made slanderous attacks 
on the Buddha and his disciples. In Pathika Sutta are short discourses 
in which are accounts of the Buddha's refutation and explanation 
with reference to many of Sunakkhatta's accusations. 

Chp4 Suttanta Pitaka 37 

(2) Udumbarika Sutta 

This discourse was given to Nigrodha the wandering ascetic 
and his followers in the Park of the Queen Udumbarika near Rajagaha, 
in order to destroy their wrong doctrine and establish wholesome 
doctrine So obsessed were the wandering ascetics with their own 
wrong beliefs that they gave no response to the Buddha's invitation 
to follow his Teaching assuring them fruitful results within seven 

(3) Cakkavatti Sutta 

In the town of Matula, in the country of Magadha, bhikkhus were 
enjoined by the Buddha to be their own support, their own refuge, 
relying only on the Dhamma and not on any other refuge. Then the 
Buddha told them the story of Dalhanemi, the Universal Monarch, 
who possessed the Celestial Wheel as one of his seven treasures He 
and his successor ruled over the four continents, wielding the power 
and authority of the Universal Monarch Their life-span was long and 
as long as they remained righteous and fulfilled the noble duties of 
Universal Monarch, making the Dhamma their only support, provid- 
ing shelter and security, offering wealth and necessities to the needy, 
their dominions remained at peace, prosperous and progressing 

But when the Monarch failed to fulfil the noble duties of a right- 
eous king, when the Dhamma was no longer held as a refuge, morali- 
ty of the people declines The life-span dwindled down to ten years 
only. Then ten meritorious deeds productive of wholesome effects 
completely disappeared and ten evil deeds giving unwholesome 
results flourished exceedingly. People failed to show reverential re- 
gard for the leaders and elders, to fulfil their duties towards parents, 
samanas and brahmanas There also developed intense mutual aver- 
sion, ill-will, thoughts of killing one another, followed by fighting, 
devastation and carnage. 

A few who survived the holocaust agreed to give up their evil 
ways, to live in a spirit of harmony, doing good deeds, showing re- 
verential regard for the leaders and elders, fulfilling their duties 
towards parents, samanas and brahmanas. In consequences of im- 
proved morality, their life-span expanded again until it reached eigh- 
ty thousand years when a Universal Monarch appeared once more 

38 Guide to Tipitaka 

to rule righteously Bhikkhus were thus enjoined to keep within the 
confines of the Dhamma, making it their support, their refuge The 
Dhamma would show the way for their physical and mental deve- 
lopment until they attained Arahatship 

(4) AggaMa Sutta 

This discourse was given at Savatthi to two novices under tram- 
ing, Vasettha and Bharadvaja, pointing out the wrong beliefs of 
Brahmins as regards caste The Brahmins claimed that among the 
four classes of people, recognised at that time, Brahmins were the 
noblest, next came the Khattiya class, the nobility and royalty, follow- 
ed by Vessa, the trading class and Suddha, the lowest class 

The Buddha refuted these claims of the Brahmins, by explain- 
ing how the world was subjected to processes of evolution and dis- 
solution and describing how human beings first appeared on earth 
and how the four social classes emerged He explained further that 
the nobility of a person was decided not by his birth and lineage but 
by his morality and knowledge of the Noble Truths 

'Whoever holds wrong views and commits misdeeds is not 
noble whatever his birth Whoever restrains himself in deed, word 
and thought and develops the Boddipakkhiya Dhammas until he attains 
complete eradication of defilements in this very life is the chief, the 
noblest amongst men and devas irrespective of birth " 

(5) Sampasadaniya Sutta 

The Venerable Sariputta's deep confidence in the Buddha was 
once proclaimed aloud in an eloquent eulogy of the Buddha spoken 
in the Buddha's presence For making this bold utterance on the 
virtues of the Buddha, the Buddha asked him whether he had per- 
sonal knowledge of the minds of all the Buddhas, those of the past, 
of the future and of the present, their Morality, their Concentration, 
their Wisdom, and the manner of their emancipation 

The Venerable Sanputta said he did not claim to have such know- 
ledge but justified himself by stating in detail the course of the 
Dhamma taken by all the Buddhas their accomplishment in sila, 
abandonment of five hindrances, establishment in the four Methods 
of Steadfast Mindfulness and cultivation of the Seven Factors of 

Chp 4 Suttanta Pitaka 39 

Enlightenment the only course that could lead to unsurpassed 
Supreme Enlightenment 

(6) Pasadika Sutta 

The Venerable Ananda accompanied by bhikkhu Cunda went to 
see the Buddha to give him the news about the death of Nigantha 
Nataputta, the leader of a well-known sect, and the schism that had 
arisen amongst his disciples 

The Buddha told them that it was natural and to be expected to 
happen in a Teaching which was not well taught, not well imparted, 
not conducive to emancipation, and not taught by one who was 
supremely enlightened 

In contrast, the Buddha explained that when the Teaching was 
well taught, well imparted by one who was supremely enlightened, 
there were no wrong views, no speculations about past or future or 
about atta In the Teaching of the Buddha, bhikkhus were taught 
the Four Methods of Steadfast Mmdfulness by which wrong views 
and speculations were laid aside 

(7) Lakkhana Sutta 

This discourse on thirty-two bodily marks of a great man was 
given by the Buddha at Savatthi, in the Anathapmdika's Monastery 
For a person endowed with the thirty-two bodily marks of a great 
man, only two possible courses are open to him and no other 

"If he lives the household life, he will become a Universal 
Monarch ruling in righteousness over the four continents If he goes 
forth from the home life into homelessness, he will become an 
Enlightened Buddha " 

The Buddha explained the thirty-two bodily marks in detail, 
together with accounts of meritorious deeds previously performed by 
virtue of which each of these thirty-two bodily marks were acquired 

(8) Singala Sutta 

This discourse was given by the Buddha at Rajagaha for the 
edification of a young man named Smgala The youth Singala used 
to worship the six cardinal points, namely, the East, the South, the 

40 Guide to Tipitaka 

West, the North, the Nadir and the Zenith in obedience to the last 
advice given by his dying father The Buddha explained to the young 
man that according to his Teaching, the six directions were The East 
standing for parents, The South standing for teachers, The West 
standing for the wife and children, The North standing for friends 
and associates, The Nadir standing for servants, employees, The 
Zenith standing for samanas, brahmanas 

The Buddha explained further that the six social groups mention- 
ed in the discourse were to be regarded as sacred and worthy of 
respect and worship One worshipped them by performing one's 
duties towards them Then these duties were explained to the youth 

(9) Atanatiya Sutta 

Four Celestial Kings came to see the Buddha and told him that 
there were non-believers among many invisible beings who might 
bring harm to the followers of the Buddha The Celestial Kings 
therefore wanted to teach the bhikkhus the protecting incantation 
known as the Atanatiya Paritta The Buddha gave his consent by re- 
maining silent 

Then the four Celestial Kings recited the Atanatiya Paritta, which 
the Buddha advised bhikkhus, bhikkhunis and lay disciples to learn, 
to memorize so that they might dwell at ease, well guarded and 

(10) Sangiti Sutta 

The Buddha was touring through the country of the Mallas when 
he came to Pava. The death of Nigantha Nataputta had taken place 
only recently and his followers were left in dissension and strife, 
wrangling over doctrines. 

The Venerable Sariputta who delivered this discourse attributed 
this schism among Nataputta's followers to the fact that Nataputta's 
Teaching had not been well taught nor well imparted, and was not 
conducive to release from the round of existences, being taught by 
one who was not supremely enlightened. 

But the Buddha's Teaching was well taught, well imparted, con- 
ducive to release from the round of existences, being taught by the 

Chp4 Suttanta Pitaka 41 

Buddha who was supremely enlightened He advised the bhikkhus 
to recite the Dhamma as taught by the Buddha, in concord and 
without dissension so that the Teaching should last long Then he 
proceeded to enumerate the Dhamma classified under separate heads 
as Group of the Ones, Group of the Twos, etc, up to the Group of the 
Tens to facilitate easy memorizing and reciting 

(11) Dasuttora Sutta 

This discourse was also delivered by the Venerable Sariputta, 
while the Buddha was staying at Campa, in order that the bhikkhus 
should get liberated from fetters, and attain Nibbana, bringing about 
the end of suffering 

He taught the Dhamma classified under separate heads as 
Group of the Ones, Group of the Twos, etc., up to the Group of the 



Collection of Medium Length Discourses of the Buddha 

This collection of medium length discourses is made up of one 
hundred and fifty-two suttas in three books known as parmasa. The 
first book, Mulapannasa, deals with the first fifty suttas in five vaggas, 
the second book, Majjhtmapanndsa consists of the second fifty suttas 
in five vaggas too; and the last fifty-two suttas are dealt with in five 
vaggas of the third book, Uparipannasa, which means more than fifty 

The suttas in this Nikaya throw much light on the social ideas 
and institutions of those days, and also provide general information on 
the economic and political life 

(a) Miilapannasa Pali 
I. Mulapariyaya Vagga 

(1) Mulapariyaya Sutta 

The Buddha explained the basis of all phenomena, specifying 
twenty-four categories such as the four elements (earth, water, fire, 
wind); sentient beings, devas; the seen, the heard, the thought of, the 
known; the oneness, the multiplicity, the whole, and the reality of Nib- 
bana. The uninstructed worldling cannot perceive the true nature of 
these phenomena, only the enlightened ones can see them in true 

(2) Sabbasava Sutta 

In this discourse, mental intoxicants that beset the uninstructed 
worldmg are defined, and seven practices for eradicating them are ex- 

Chp 5 Majjhtma Nikaya 43 

(3) Dfaammadayada Sutta 

This sutta contains two separate discourses, the first one given by 
the Buddha, the second by the Venerable Sariputta The Buddha urged 
the bhikkhus to receive as their legacy from him the Bodhipakkhiya 
Dhamma only, and not material things like the four requisites The 
Venerable Sariputta advised the bhikkhus to lead a solitary life for 
attainment of jhana and to strive for the attainment of Nibbana by 
abandoning greed, ill will, and delusion. 

(4) Bhayabherava Sutta 

This discourse describes how a bhikkhu leading a solitary life in 
a secluded forest invites harm and danger to himself by his impure 
thoughts, words and deeds, and how the Buddha had lived a peaceful 
forest life harmlessly by cultivating pure thoughts, words and deeds 
which finally led him to enlightenment 

(5) Anangana Sutta 

In this discourse given on the request of the Venerable Maha 
Moggallana, the Venerable Sariputta explained four types of indivi- 

(i) an impure person who knows he is impure; 

(ii) an impure person who does not know he is impure, 
(iii) a pure person who knows his own purity, 
(iv) a pure person who does not know his own purity 

(6) Akafikheyya Sutta 

This sutta describes how a bhikkhu should develop sila, samadhi 
and paniia, instead of hankering after gain and fame, how he should 
restrain his faculties, seeing danger in the slightest fault. 

(7) Vattha Sutta 

In this discourse the Buddha explained the difference between 
an impure mind and a pure mind by giving the example of dirty cloth 

44 Guide to Tipttaka 

and clean cloth Only the clean cloth will absorb dye, so also only the 
pure mind will retain the dhamma 

(8) Sailekha Sutta 

In this discourse the Buddha explained to Maha Cunda how 
wrong views about atta and loka can be removed only by vipassana 
insight. Jhamc practice is not the austerity practice that removes moral 
defilements; jhanic practice only leads to a blissful existence 

Only refraining from forty-four kinds of bad deeds constitutes 
austerity practice for removing moral defilements The volition alone 
to do a good deed is enough to produce a good result, when it is ac- 
companied by the actual deed, the beneficial result accruing is im- 
measurable One immersed in the mire of sensuous impurities cannot 
rescue others immersed likewise in the mire 

(9) Sammaditthi Sutta 

This discoui se is an exposition on the right view delivered by 
the Venerable Sanputta at Savatthi When physical, verbal and mental 
actions are motivated by greed, hatred and delusion, they are deemed 
to be bad When they arise through non-greed, non-hatred and non- 
delusion, the actions are deemed to be good Right View is under- 
standing what a good deed is and what a bad deed is, it is the full 
comprehension of the Four Noble Truths and not holding on to eterni- 
ty views concerning atta 

(10) Mahasatipatthana Sutta 

This discourse given at Kammasadhamma market town is the 
most important sutta which gives practical guidance for cultivation of 
mindfulness It describes the Four Methods of Steadfast Mindfulness, 
namely, contemplating the body, contemplating sensation, contem- 
plating the mind, and contemplating the dhamma as the one and only 
way for the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrow and 
lamentation, for the complete destruction of pain and distress, for the 
attainment of the Noble Magga, and for the realization of Nibbana 

This sutta appears in identical form in the Digha Nikaya 

Chp5 Majjhima Nikaya 45 

II. Sihanada Vagga 

(1) Culasihanada Stitta 

In this discourse, given at Savatthi, the Buddha made the bold 
statement that the four Categories of Anyas, namely, the Stream- 
winner, the Once-returner, the Non-returner and the Arahat exist only 
in his Teaching and not in any other 

(2) Mahasihanada Sutta 

In this discourse, given in Vesak, the Venerable Sanputta report- 
ed to the Buddha about the disparagement of the Buddha's virtues 
made by Sunakkhatta who had left the Teaching. The Buddha said 
that Sunakkhatta was not intellectually equipped to have the faintest 
glimpse of the Buddha's virtues such as the Ten Strengths, the four 
kinds of supreme Self-Confidence, the Non-decline of Sabbafmuta 
Nana till the time of panmbbana He then described the five destina- 
tions and the actions which lead to them as well as the wrong beliefs 
and practices of the naked ascetics to whose camp Sunakkhatta now 

(3) Mahadukkhakkhanda Sutta 

This discourse was given at Savatthi to refute the naked ascetics 
when they tned to make out that they followed the same path and 
taught the same dhamma as the Buddha The Buddha also explained 
to the bhikkhus what the pleasures of the senses were, what then- 
faults and dangers were, and the way of escape from them The 
Buddha explained further that outside of his Teaching, these dham- 
mas were not known and no one but the Buddha and his disciples 
could teach such dhammas. 

(4) Caadukkhakkhanda Sutta 

This discourse, given by the Buddha, at Kapilavatthu to the 
Sakyan Prince Mahanama to explain to him on his request, how greed, 
ill will and ignorance caused moral defilements and suffering. 

46 Guide to Tipitaka 

(5) Anumana Sutta 

This discourse was given by the Venerable Maha Moggallana to 
many bhikkhus at Susurnaragira in the country of Bhagga They were 
urged to see if they had purged themselves of sixteen kinds of stub- 
bornness such as inordinate desire, humiliating others while praising 
oneself, wrathfulness, etc. If these sixteen kinds of unwholesome 
dhammas were detected in oneself, a determined effort should be 
made to get rid of them 

(6) Cetokhiia Sutta 

This discourse, given by the Buddha at Savatthi, mentions the five 
kinds of mental thorns. Doubt about the Buddha, doubt about the 
Dhamma, doubt about the Saihgha, doubt about the efficacy of the 
practice in sila, samadhi and panna, ill will and animosity towards 
fellow bhikkhus It also mentions the five fetters attachment to sen- 
sual desires, attachment to oneself, attachment to material objects, 
immoderation in eating and sleeping, and adopting the holy life with 
the limited objective of attaining to blissful existences only These 
mental thorns and fetters are obstacles to liberation from dukkha 
They should be removed and eradicated for realization of Nibbana 

(7) Vanapattha Sutta 

This discourse, given at Savatthi, is concerned with the choice 
of a suitable place for a bhikkhu A bhikkhu has to depend on a forest 
glade or a village, or a town or an individual for his residence and 
support If he finds out any particular place is not satisfactory for his 
spiritual development or for material support, he should abandon 
that place at once 

If he finds it satisfactory with respect to material support, but not 
beneficial for spiritual development, he should abandon that place, 
too But when it proves beneficial for spiritual development, even if 
the material support is meagre, the bhikkhu should stay on in that 
place. When conditions are satisfactory both for spiritual development 
and material support, he should live for the whole of his Me in such a 

Chp5 Majjhima Nikaya 47 

(8) Madhupindika St&tta 

A Sakyan Pnnce, named Dandapani, once asked the Buddha at 
Kapilavatthu what doctnne he taught. The Buddha replied that his 
doctrine was one which could not be grasped by any brahmin nor by 
the Mara. It is this not living in discord with any one in the world; not 
obsessed by sense impressions (sanna)\ not troubled by doubts; and 
not craving for any form of existence 

(9) Dvedavitakka Sutta 

This discourse was given by the Buddha at Savatthi to explain 
two kinds of thinking, wholesome and unwholesome Bhikkhus 
should practise to see the advantages of engaging in wholesome 
thoughts and the dangers of unwholesome thoughts 

(10) Vitakkasanthana Sutta 

This discourse was given by the Buddha at Savatthi on how to 
combat the arising of unwholesome thoughts with wholesome 
thoughts For example, greed and sensuous thoughts should be ba- 
nished by contemplating on unpleasantness and impermanency of 
the object of desire; ill will and hatred must be countered by thoughts 
of loving-kindness; and ignorance may be overcome by seeking illu- 
mination and guidance from the teacher 

III. Opamma Vagga 

(1) Kakacupama Sutta 

This discourse was given by the Buddha at Savatthi in connec- 
tion with Bhikkhu Moliyaphagguna who was friendly with bhikkhunis 
When others censured him for being too friendly with bhikkhunis, 
he lost his temper and broke into quarrel with bhikkhus who cri- 
ticized him 

When the Buddha admonished and advised him to keep away 
from bhikkhunis and to control his temper, he remained recalcitrant. 
The Buddha showed the harmfulness of ill temper and advised other 
bhikkhus to keep a tight check on their temper, not losing it even 
when some one was sawing away their limbs into bits 

48 Guide to Tipttaka 

(2) Alagaddupama Stitta 

This discourse was given by the Buddha at Savatthi. Bhikkhu 
Arittha misunderstood the Buddha's Teaching and maintained that 
the *Buddha showed how to enjoy sensuous pleasure without jeo- 
pardising one's progress in the Path. When the Buddha remonstrat- 
ed with him for his wrong views he remained unrepentant 

The Buddha then spoke to the bhikkhus on the wrong way and 
the right way of learning the dhamma, giving the simile of a snake 
catcher, and the simile of the raft 

(3) Vammika Sutta 

This discourse was given by the Buddha at Savatthi Venerable 
Kumarakassapa was asked by a deva a set of fifteen questions which 
he brought to the Buddha for elucidation The Buddha explained to 
him the meaning of the questions and assisted him in their solution 

(4) Rathaviirita Sutta 

This sutta recounts the dialogue between the Venerable Sariputta 
and the Venerable Punna at Savatthi on the seven stages of purity, 
such as purity of sila, purity of mind, purity of view etc , that must be 
passed before attainment to Nibbana 

(5) Nivapa Sutta 

This discourse was given by the Buddha at Savatthi on the snares 
that waylay bhikkhus on their path, making use of the simile of the 
hunter, the hunter's followers, the green pasture and four different 
herds of deer The hunter was likened to Mara, the hunter's crowd to 
Mara's followers, the green pasture he had set up to the sensuous 
pleasures, and four different herds of deer to four different types of 
recluses who left home life. 

(6) Pasarasi Sutta 

This sutta given by the Buddha at Savatthi is also known by the 
name of Ariyapariyesana Sutta. The Buddha recounted his life from 
the time he was born in the human world as the son of King Suddho- 
dana till the moment of the great discourse on the Turning of the 

Ckp 5 Majjhima Nikaya 49 

Wheel of Dhamma, giving details of his renunciation, initial wrong 
practices of severe asceticism and final discovery of the Noble Path 
of Eight Constituents. In particular, stress was laid on two different 
types of quests, the Noble and the Ignoble. He explained that it was 
extremely unwise to go after sensual pleasures which subject one to 
ageing, disease and death The most noble quest was to seek out that 
which will liberate one from ageing, disease and death. 

(7) Culahattfaipadopama Sutta 

This sutta was given by the Buddha at Savatthi. The Brahmin 
Janussom asked the wandering ascetic Pilotika, who had just come 
back from the Buddha, whether he knew all the virtues and accom- 
plishments of the Buddha The wandering ascetic replied that only a 
Buddha who could match another Buddha in attainments could 
know all the virtues of the other. As for him, he could only exercise 
his imagination in this respect just as a hunter would judge the 
measurements of an elephant from the size of its footprints 

Later when the Brahmin Janussoni went to see the Buddha, and 
recounted his conversation with the wandering ascetic the Buddha 
told him that the size of an elephant's footprint might still be mislead- 
ing Only when one followed the footprints, and the animal was seen 
grazing in the open, its true measurements could be accurately iudg- 
ed So also the virtues of the Buddha and his Teaching could be fully 
appreciated and understood only when one followed his Teaching 
and practised as taught by him until the final goal of Arahatship was 

(8) Mahahatthipadopama Sutta 

This discourse was given by the Venerable Sariputta to the bhik- 
khus at Savatthi using the simile of the elephant's footprint. He 
explained that just as the footprint of all animals could be contained 
within the footprint of an elephant, all wholesome dhammas were 
comprised in the Four Noble Truths. 

(9) Mahasaropama Sutta 

This discourse was given by the Buddha at Rajagaha in connec- 
tion with Devadatta who remained contented with gain and fame 

50 Guide to Tipitaka 

because of his attainment of supernormal powers and left the Teaching 
to cause schism in the Order. The Buddha said that this Teaching was 
not for the purpose of gain and fame which were like the external 
shoots and branches of a tree, nor just for the accomplishment in 
sila which may be likened to the outer crust of a tree, nor for mere 
establishing of concentration to achieve supernormal powers which 
were like the bark of a tree. The Dhamma was taught for the attainment 
of Arahatship, the noble liberation which alone resembled the inner 
pith of a tree. 

(10) Culasaropama Sutta 

This discourse was given by the Buddha at Savatthi in connec- 
tion with the Brahmin Pingalakoccha who asked the Buddha whether 
all the six teachers claiming to be Buddhas were really enlightened 
The Buddha explained that the Brahmacanya practice taught by a 
Buddha led to Arahatship, not just to the achievement of gain and 
fame, or supernormal powers 

IV. Mahayamaka Vagga 

(1) Culagosihga Sutta 

The Venerable Anuruddha, the Venerable Nandiya and the 
Venerable Kimila were staying in the Gosinga Sal tree woodland The 
Buddha visited them and praised them on their way of living, prac- 
tising the holy life with perfect harmony and concord amongst them- 
selves, thus forming an adornment to the lovely woodland park 

(2) Mahagosihga Sutta 

Once while the Buddha was residing in the GosiAga Sal tree 
woodland, the Venerable Sariputta asked the Buddha. "Who would 
most adorn this woodland park and enhance its beauty?" The dis- 
course records the different answers provided by the Venerables 
Revata, Anuruddha, Maha Kassapa, Maha Moggallana, Sariputta and 
by the Buddha himself. 

Chp5 Majjhima Ntkaya 51 

(3) Mahagopalaka Sutta 

This discourse, given by the Buddha at Savatthi, explains the 
conditions under which the Teaching would grow and prosper and 
the conditions under which it would decline and decay. The example 
of a cowherd is given When a cowherd is equipped with eleven skills 
of managing and tending his cattle, there is progress and growth in 
his work So also when the bhikkhu is skilled and accomplished in 
eleven factors such as knowledge of truth about the khandhas, prac- 
tice of sfla, samadhi and paniia etc., the Teaching will grow and prosper. 

(4) CCdagopalaka Sotta 

This discourse deals with eleven factors, the failure to fulfil which 
would contribute to the downfall and ruin of the Teaching. Just as 
the cattle under the care of an unwise and unskilful cowherd crossed 
the river from a wrong quay on the bank and met with destruction 
instead of reaching the other shore, so also the followers of the 
teachers who were not accomplished in the knowledge of truth, khan- 
dhas, etc , would end up only in disaster 

(5) Culasaccaka Sutta 

This discourse, given at Vesali, gives an account of the debate 
between the Buddha and Saccaka the wandering ascetic on the subject 
of atta Saccaka maintained that rupa, vedana, sanna, sankhara and 
vinnana were one's atta It was atta which enjoyed the fruits of good 
deeds and suffered the consequences of bad deeds. The Buddha 
refuted his theory, pointing out that none of the khandhas was atta, 
each being subjected to the laws of anicca, dukkha and anatta, and 
not amenable to anyone's control. Saccaka had to admit his defeat in 
the presence of his followers. 

(6) Mahasaccaka Sutta 

The same Saccaka, the wandering ascetic, came again to the 
Buddha the next day and asked about the cultivation of mind and 
body. He knew only the wrong methods of developing concentration 
The Buddha explained to Saccaka the various practices he himself 

52 Guide to Tifitaka 

had followed and mistakes he had made until he found the Middle 
Path that finally led him to the realization of Nibbana 

(7) Culatanhasankhaya Sutta 

On enquiry by the king of devas how a disciple of the Buddha 
trained himself to realize Nibbana, the Buddha gave him a short des- 
cription of how a householder, after leaving his home, put himself 
on a course of training that gradually purified his mind of all moral 
defilements and led him to the final goal 

(8) MaMtanhasankhaya Sutta 

A disciple of the Buddha, Sati by name, held the view that the 
Buddha taught: 'The same consciousness transmigrates and wanders 
about". Other disciples tried to rid him of this wrong view but to no 
avail The Buddha told him that he never taught such wrong views 
He only taught "Consciousness arises out of conditions, there is no 
arising of consciousness without conditions" 

(9) Maha-assapura Sutta 

The people of Assapura, a market town of Anga country, were 
ardently devoted to the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Samgha, help- 
ing and assisting the members of the Order by offering them the 
bhikkhu requisites Out of gratitude for such support, the Buddha 
urged the bhikkhus to make strenuous efforts in their training and 
practice of Dhamma, gradually going up stage by stage* starting from 
avoiding evil deeds by restraint of physical and vocal action, to pro- 
ceed to mental restraint through meditation, then progressing towards 
attainment of four stages of jhana, and finally to the stage where all 
moral defilements were eliminated and Nibbana was attained 

(10) Cula-assapura Sutta 

Out of gratitude for the support given by the lay devotees of 
Assapura, a market town in the country of Anga, the Buddha urged 
the bhikkhus to be worthy of the name of samana and brahmana 
Samana means one who has stilled his passions, brahmana one who 
has rid himself of defilements A bhikkhu should therefore subject 
himself to the course of discipline and practice as laid down by the 

Chp5 Majjhima Nikaya 53 

Buddha until he had eliminated the twelve defilements such as envy, 
ill will, deceit, wrong views, etc. 

V. Ciilayamaka Vagga 

(1) Saleyyaka Sutta 

This exposition was given to villagers of Sala on ten demerito- 
rious deeds that would lead to states of misery and woe and ten meri- 
torious deeds that would given rise to rebirth in happy realms 

(2) Veranjaka Sutta 

This discourse was given to the householders of Veranja dealing 
with identical subjects as in the Saleyyaka Sutta 

(3) Mahavedalla Sutta 

The Venerable Mahakotthika asked many questions to the 
Venerable Sariputta at Savatthi regarding an uninstructed person 
with no panna, and instructed persons with panna, many questions on 
vinnana and vedana, on the difference between panna and vinnana, 
and many other things. The Venerable Sariputta obliged him with 
detailed answers 

(4) Culavedalla Sutta 

Then Dhammadinna was asked many questions by the house- 
holder Visakha about personality, Sakkaya, the origin of Sakkaya, the 
cessation of Sakkaya and the way leading to cesstion of Sakkaya. All 
the questions were satisfactorily answered by the Theri 

(5) Culadhammasamadana Sutta 

This sutta describes four practices involving* (i) happy living 
now, followed by dire consequences in the future, (ii) unhappy living 
now, followed by dire consequences in the future; (iii) unhappy living 
now, followed by a happy life in the future; (iv) happy living now, 
followed by a happy life in the future. 

54 Guide to Tipitaka 

(6) Mahadhammasamadaoa Sutta 

In this discourse, the four practices as described in Culadham- 
masamadana Sutta are explained with more details giving similes of 
poisoned fruit juice, delicious cordial and medicinal preparation of 
cow's urine. 

(7) Vimariisaka Sutta 

Any claim to Buddhahood may be put to acid tests as provided 
in this sutta A detailed procedure to scrutinize such claim is laid down 

(8) Kosambiya Sutta 

This discourse on how loving-kindness should be the basis of 
their relations was given by the Buddha to the Bhikkhus of 
Kosambi who were living in discord because of disagreement over 
trifling matters 

(9) Brahmanimantaiiika Sutta 

The Brahrna Baka held the wrong view of eternity, believing in 
permanence, stability, and endurance The Buddha showed him how 
wrong his belief was 

(10) Maratajjaniya Sutta 

This is an account given by the Venerable Maha Moggallana of 
how Mara once troubled him by causing pains and aches in the sto- 
mach. He had to coax him to stop annoying him by telling him that 
he had been Mara's uncle at the time of Kakusandha Buddha. 

(b) Majjihmapannasa Pali 
I. Gahapati Vagga 

(1) Kandaraka Sutta 

This discourse was delivered at Campa in connection with Kan- 
daraka, the wandering ascetic, and Pessa, son of elephant rider, who 

Chp 5 Majjhima Nikaya 55 

marvelled at the silence maintained by the huge congregation of 
bhikkhus, not making any sound, not even a sneeze nor a cough The 
Buddha explained that their silence was due to their accomplish- 
ments in samadhi and to their training on four Methods of Steadfast 
Mindfulness. The Buddha also elucidated the four types of indivi- 
duals engaged in meditation 

(2) Afthakanagara Sutta 

The householder Dasama of Atthaka wanted to know if there 
was a single dhamma which could cause liberation and realization of 
Nibbana The VenerableAnanda informed him there was a group of 
dhammas, eleven in number, namely, the four jhanas, the four 
Brahmavihara practices, and Akasanancayatana, Vinnanancayatana, 
Akmcafinayatana Contemplating the impermanent nature of each of 
these dhammas would led one to Nibbana. 

(3) Sekha Sutta 

This discourse was given by the Venerable Ananda to the Sakyans 
headed by Prince Mahanama The Venerable Ananda explained the 
path consisting of three steps, sila, samadhi and patina to be followed 
by an aspirant to higher knowledge culminating in the knowledge of 
cessation of asava. 

(4) Potaliya Sutta 

Potaliya had left worldly affairs behind with a view to lead the 
holy life When the Buddha saw him dressed in ordinary everyday 
attire, the Buddha addressed him as 'Gahapati', householder, which 
Potaliya resented The Buddha explained to him that in the vocabu- 
lary of the Vmaya one was said to have cut oneself off from the world 
only when one refrained from killing, stealing, telling lies, slandering, 
and only when one was abstemious, not conceited, and controlled in 
one's temper 

(5) Jivaka Sutta 

This discourse was given at Rajagaha in connection with Jivaka, 
the great physician, who enquired whether it was true that the Buddha 

56 Guide to Tipitaka 

ate the meat of animals killed purposely for him The Buddha told 
him that he had made it a rule for the bhikkhus not to partake of any 
meat which they say or heard or had reason to suspect to be es- 
pecially prepared for them. Further, a bhikkhu should not show eager- 
ness for food nor be greedy in eating, he should eat with reflection 
that he took the meal only to sustain the body m order to pursue the 
path of liberation 

(6) Upali Stitta 

A prominent, wealthy lay disciple of Nigantha Nataputta was sent 
by his master to meet the Buddha and defeat him in argument on cer- 
tain aspects of the Theory of Kamma. Whereas the Nigantha stress- 
ed on the physical and vocal actions being more productive of resul- 
tant effects, the Buddha maintained that it was volition or mental 
action that was paramount By means of his discourse the Buddha 
converted Upali, and overwhelmed by intense wrath over the loss of 
his most prominent disciple, Nataputta died 

(7) Kukkuravatika Sutta 

This discourse, given by the Buddha to two naked ascetics named 
Punna and Seniya at the market town of Koliya, deals with four kinds 
of actions and four kinds of resultant effects arising therefrom (i) 
black deed leading to black result, (li) white deed leading to white 
result, (hi) deed which is both black and white leading to result 
which is both black and white and (iv) deed which is neither black 
nor white leading to result which is neither black nor white 

(8) Abhayarajakumara Sutta 

Prince Abhayarajakumara was sent by Nigantha Nataputta to ask 
the Buddha whether he uttered unpleasant words about the destiny 
of Devadatta The Buddha enumerated six modes of utterances out of 
which he would make two modes of utterances words which are true, 
profitable but not pleasant to others and words which are true, pro- 
fitable and pleasant to others 

Chp 5 Majjhima Ntkaya 57 

(9) Bahuvedaniya Sutta 

This discourse was given at Savatthi to explain the various kinds 
of vedana which might be two in number sukha and dukkha vedands; 
or three in number by including the upekkhd vedana; or five, six, 
eighteen or thirty-six, or one hundred and eight, depending on the 
method of enumeration Ordinarily sensations that arise from plea- 
sures of the senses are regarded as sukha, or happiness. But the 
Buddha explains that the acme of happiness is attainment of nirodha 

(10) Apaimaka Sutta 

This discourse was given by the Buddha to the villagers of Sala 
in the country of Kosala who had not yet accepted any of the teach- 
ings taught by leaders of the various sects visiting their village The 
Buddha showed them the nght path which would not lead them 
astray The wrong views of the sectarians were contrasted against the 
right views propounded by the Buddha; the disadvantages of wrong 
views, and the advantages of right views were explained. 

II. Bhikkhu Vagga 

(1) Ambalafthikarahulovada Sutta 

In this discourse, given at Rajagaha, the Buddha exhorted his 
son Rahula, a samanera aged seven, on the necessity of observing the 
fundamental moral precept of truthfulness, and of practising mind- 
fulness, by giving the similes of the upturned water pot, the royal 
elephant and the mirror 

(2) Maharahulovada Sutta 

This discourse on the five khandhas, was given at Savatthi by 
the Buddha to Rahula at the age of eighteen The Venerable Sariputta 
also taught Rahula the meditation on Anapana. The Buddha further 
explained to him the advantages of Anapana meditation and gave 
him another discourse on the four great elements 

58 Guide to Tipttaka 

(3) CfUamalukya Sutta 

This discourse was given at Savatthi to the bhikkhu Malukya. 
Bhikkhu Malukya interrupted his meditation one afternoon, went to 
the Buddha and asked him the well-known classical questions: Is the 
universe eternal or not, etc; is the soul the same as the body, is the soul 
one thing and body another, etc.; does life exist after death, or does 
it not exist after death 

The Buddha explained to him that the practice of the holy life did 
not depend upon these views Whatever view one may hold about 
them, there would still be birth, ageing, decay, death, sorrow, lamen- 
tation, pain, grief, distress. The Buddha said that he taught only about 
dukkha, the cause of dukkha, the cessation of dukkha and the way 
leading to the cessation of dukkha. 

(4) Mahamalukya Sutta 

This discourse was given to bhikkhu Malukya at Savatthi to ex- 
plain the five fetters, namely, personality belief, doubt, attachment to 
wrong practice, sensual desires and ill will, which lead beings to lower 

(5) Bhaddali Sutta 

This discourse, given at Savatthi, is an exhortation to bhikkhu 
Bhaddali who refused to obey the disciplinary rule of not eating after 
midday and in the evening; the Buddha explained why bhikkhus in the 
Teaching should respect the disciplinary rules laid down by him 

(6) Latukikopama Sutta 

This discourse was given to the Venerable Udayi in connection 
with observance^ of disciplinary rules and precepts. When the five 
strengths (balas), namely, faith, energy, mindfulness, concentration 
and insight are not well developed, the bhikkhu finds even a paltry 
restraint like refraining from eating meals in the afternoon and in the 
evening very irksome and onerous. But when the five Balas are fully 
developed, even stringent rules can be observed without any diffi- 
culty or discomfort 

Chp 5 Majjktma Nikaya 59 

(7) Catuma Sutta 

This discourse was given at Catuma to the disciples of the Vener- 
able Sariputta and the Venerable Maha Moggallana, who came with 
five hundred bhikkhus to see the Buddha The five hundred bhikkhus 
made a lot of noise while settling down The Buddha refused to see 
them at first, but later relented and taught them the dangers in the 
Me of a bhikkhu Just as there are dangers and hazards in a sea like 
stormy waves, crocodiles, whirlpools, and sharks, so also there are 
dangers against which the bhikkhu must be always on guard, name- 
ly, ill will against those who instruct them and guide them, dissatis- 
faction with training rules such as those concerning taking of meals 
or dealing with womenfolk, and pleasures of senses 

(8) Nalakapana Sutta 

This discourse was given to the Venerable Anuruddha and to the 
villagers of Nalakapana to explain that unless a bhikkhu had attain- 
ed the higher stages of Magga and Phala, accomplishments in super- 
normal psychic powers may prove to be harmful to him. The Buddha 
himself talked about the destinations of the departed persons not to 
earn praise and admiration but to arouse enthusiasm and faith in his 

(9) Goliyani Sutta 

This discourse was given at Rajagaha by the Venerable Sariputta 
to Goliyani Bhikkhu concerning eighteen dhammas which a forest 
dwelling bhikkhu should observe 

(10) Kitagiri Sutta 

This discourse was given at the market town of Kitagiri on the 
advantages of taking meals only before noon and the disadvantages 
of eating in the evening. 

III. Paribbajaka Vagga 

(1) Tevijjavaccha Sutta 

Vacchagotta, the wandering ascetic, questioned the Buddha 
whether it would be true to say that Sabbaniiuta Nana was constant- 

60 Guide to Tipitaka 

ly and continuously present to him all the time, while walking or 
standing, asleep or awake The Buddha replied that it would not be 
true to say so It would be true to say only that the Buddha was ac- 
complished in the three kinds of knowledge, namely, knowledge of 
the past, power of divine seeing, and knowledge of liberation 

(2) Aggivaccha Sutta 

This discourse was given by the Buddha at Savatthi in connec- 
tion with Vacchagotta who approached the Buddha quite often to 
ask many questions about atta On this occasion too he asked the 
Buddha whether there was atta, whether atta was permanent, etc 
The Buddha told him he held no theones about atta because he had 
seen the nature of things as they really were Then he explained to 
him the dhamma m some detail 

(3) Mahavaccha Sutta 

This discourse was given by the Buddha to Vacchagotta at Raja- 
gaha. On his visit to the Buddha after a long interval, Vacchagotta 
no longer troubled the Buddha with his speculations about atta, loka, 
etc , instead, he requested to be taught on good and bad deeds 
(Kusalakusalam Kammam) in brief The Buddha explained to him 
the dhamma on good and bad deeds m brief as well as in detail 

Vacchagotta became a disciple of the Buddha and received admis- 
sion into the Order Then practising the dhamma as instructed, he 
ultimately attained Arahatship, realizing Nibbana. The problems of 
atta, loka, etc , no longer obsessed him 

(4) Dighanakha Sutta 

This important discourse was given by the Buddha in the Stkara- 
khata Cave near Rajagaja, to Dighanakha, the wandering ascetic, a 
nephew of the Venerable Sanputta, in order to remove his wrong 
views of annihilation As the Buddha taught him the dhamma on con- 
templation of the body and contemplation of sensation (sukha, dukkha, 
adukkhamasukha), his uncle the Venerable Sanputta was standing be- 
hind the Buddha, fanning him. It was only fifteen days ago that the 
Venerable Sanputta had been admitted into the Order by the Buddha. 

Chp 5 Majjhima Nikaya 61 

While following the progress of the discourse, as though sharing the 
food prepared for another, the Venerable Sariputta advanced rapidly 
from the stage of a Sotapanna which he had already reached, and at- 
tained the perfect state of Arahatship with the fourfold Analytical 
Knowledge (Patisambhida Nana) At the end of the discourse his 
nephew, the wandering ascetic Dighanakha, became a Sotapanna 

(5) Magandiya Sutta 

This discourse was given by the Buddha at the market town of 
Kammasadhamma in the Kuru country in connection with Magandiya, 
the wandering ascetic, who resented the Buddha's criticism of his 
wrong beliefs The Buddha exhorted him to practise control of the 
senses and sensuous thoughts He told the wandering ascetic the 
story of his renunciation, how he had left his luxurious palaces and 
how, on discovering the Truth, he found happiness in Arahattaphala 
which was far superior to any of the sensuous pleasures. Magandiya 
gave up his wrong views to become a disciple of the Buddha. 

(6) Sandaka Sutta 

This discourse was given at Kosambi to Sandaka, the wandering 
ascetic, and his followers by the Venerable Ananda. The Venerable 
Ananda explained to them the four wrong views of sect-leaders who 
held there was no existence after death, that there was no evil nor 
good, no cause for any phenomena, and that there were only aggre- 
gates of seven elements. Finally he taught the wandering ascetics 
the dhamma as expounded by the Buddha. As a consequence of his 
teaching, Sandaka and his followers abandoned their wrong views 
and became disciples of the Buddha, 

(7) Mahasakuludayi Sutta 

At one time the Buddha and his company of bhikkhus were re- 
siding at Rajagaha where six leaders of sects were also spending the 
rains with their respective followers. Then Udayir, the wandering 
ascetic, who was visited by the Buddha, extolled the virtues of the 

1 Vide , Majjhimapannasa Pah 
3 PanbbajakaVagga. 
6 Sandaka Sutta, Para 228 

62 Gutde to Tipitaka 

Buddha saying that other leaders were sometimes criticized even by 
their followers, whereas the Buddha was the exception Even if the 
Buddha's disciples left the Order, they did not find fault with the 
Buddha nor the Dhamma. They ojily blamed themselves for not being 
able to follow his Teaching Udayi attributed this difference in reveren- 
tial respect enjoyed by the Buddha to five aspects of his virtues The 
Buddha rejected Udayi's enumeration of his virtues which were 
mostly attributed to ascetic practices, and explained to him the real 
cause of the total veneration bestowed on him by his followers 

(8) Samanamtmdika Sutta 

The wandering ascetic Uggahamana, son of Samanamundika, was 
teaching that any recluse who refrained from wrong deed, wrong 
word, wrong thought, and wrong livelihood was a fully accomplished 
Arahat The Buddha rejected his assertion, saying that m that case, 
even an infant sleeping innocently upon his bed could claim to 
Arahatship. He then explained that it was only the Noble Path of 
Eight Constituents leading to Right Knowledge and Right Liberation 
that could bring about realization of Arahatship 

(9) Culasakuludayi Sutta 

This discourse was given at Rajagaha The wandering ascetic 
Sakuludayi asked the Buddha many questions about atta and sila, and 
the Buddha explained to him the practice in the Teaching beginning 
with the precept of not taking the life of a being and ending with the 
realization of Nibbana 

(10) Vekhanasa Sutta 

This discourse was given at SavatthL The Buddha explained to 
Vekhanasa, the wandering ascetic, how happiness accruing from spiri- 
tual attainments was superior to that derived from sensuous plea- 
sures. The Buddha also gave the assurance that any honest worker 
who would follow his instructions sincerely could enjoy the bliss of 
spiritual attainments 

Chp 5 Majjhtma Nikaya 63 

IV. RajaVagga 

(1) Ghatikara Sutfa 

This discourse, given by the Buddha while journeying in Kosala, 
recounts the story of high devotion of Ghatikara, the potter, who 
looked after his blind parents and who at the same time attended upon 
Kassapa Buddha with utter reverence There was also the account of 
how Ghatikara forcibly pulled along his friend, young Jotipala, to 
where Kassapa Buddha was, to pay respect After hearing the dhamma 
discourses, young Jotipala left the household life to be admitted into 
the Order by Kassapa Buddha This interesting ancient episode that 
had happened in Kassapa Buddha's fame may aeons ago was re- 
counted to the Venerable Ananda by Gotama Buddha standing on the 
very spot where once stood, a long, long time ago, the house of 
Ghatikara, the potter The Buddha concluded his story by revealing 
that young Jotipala was none other than the present Gotama Buddha 

(2) Rafthapala Sutta 

Ratthapala, the son of a wealthy brahmin obtained his parents' 
permission with great difficulty to become a bhikkhu under the 
guidance of the Buddha After twelve years of strenuous endeavour, 
when he became a full-fledged Arahat, he visited his parents' home. 
His parents attempted to entice him with wealth and wife back to 
household life but to no avail He taught his parents the law of imper- 
menance, anicca, he said he saw nothing alluring in the wealth and 
the wife 

(3) Maghadeva Sutta 

This discourse was given at_the Royal mango grove at Mithila 
The Buddha told the Venerable Ananda about the noble tradition laid 
down by the righteous King Maghadeva When his hair began to 
turn white, he gave up the household life leaving his dominions to his 
eldest son. This tradition was handed down from king to son for gene- 
rations and generations, over thousands and thousands of years until 
the reign of King NimL 

King Nimi had a son by the name of KaMrajanaka who did not go 

64 Guide to Ttpitaka 

forth from home life into homelessness when the time came like his 
predecessors Kalarajanaka terminated the noble practice laid down 
by the tradition He thus became the last person of that tradition 

The Buddha revealed that he was the King Maghadeva of that 
ancient time laying down the noble tradition The Buddha said that 
noble tradition did not lead to calm, to higher knowledge It only led 
to the realm of Brahmas But the noble practice which he was lead- 
ing now as a Buddha certainly led to the disillusionment with the 
five khandhas, the abandonment of attachment and the cessation of 
dukkha, to calm, higher knowledge, penetrative insight and realization 
of Nibbana The Buddha then exhorted, "Ananda, continue to 
follow this good practice which I have laid down Let you not be the 
person with whom my tradition ends." 

(4) Madhura Sutta 

This discourse was given by the Venerable Mahakaccana at 
Madhura. He refuted the brahmins' claim that only brahmins were 
noble and superior, and that others were inferior. He explained to 
King Madhura that it was one's morality, not birth that established 
one's nobility. Anyone whether Brahmin, Khattiya, Vessa or Sudda, 
committing a wrong deed would be born again in the states of woe, 
any doing a good deed would be born again in a happy realm After 
this discourse by the Venerable Mahakaccana, King Madhura, former- 
ly of another faith, took refuge m the Buddha, the Dhamma and the 

(5) Bodhirajakumara Sutta 

This discourse was given by the Buddha at Susumaragira in the 
country of Bhagga in connection with the statement made by Prince 
Bodhi that "sukha, happiness, cannot be attained through sukha; 
sukha can be attained only through dukkha" The Buddha said he 
had also once thought in a similar manner, and recounted the whole 
story of his renunciaton, his struggles with wrong practices, frantic 
search for the Truth, and ultimate enlightenment When asked by the 
prince how long would it take a bhikkhu to achieve, in this very 
lifetime, the supreme goal of the holy life, Arahatship, the Buddha 

Chp 5 Majjhtma Ntkaya 65 

stipulated five attributes for the aspiring bhikkhu. If he was equipped 
with five attributes faith, good health, integrity (not being deceitful), 
unrelenting zeal, and sufficient intellect to understand the phenomena 
of 'arising and passing away', and having the Tathagata as his instructor 
and guide, a bhikkhu would achieve the Arahatship within seven years 
at most Under the most favourable circumstances he could become 
accomplished within half a day 

(6) Angulimala Sutta 

This discourse, given by the Buddha at Savatthi, describes how 
Angulimala, the notorious robber and murderer, was tamed by the 
Buddha, and how he took refuge in the Buddha, the Dhamma and the 
Samgha Although he had the name of Ahimsaka, Non-violence, he 
was formerly cruel and murderous and was called Angulimala by peo- 
ple Being tamed now by the Budddha, he ceased hurting anyone, 
and started living a life true to his name He had become an Arahat 

(7) Piyajatika Sutta 

A householder of Savatthi whose son had died went to see the 
Buddha who told him that dear beloved ones formed a source of sor- 
row as they brought pain and grief The householder was displeased 
with what the Buddha said. Gamblers playing with dice just close by 
the Buddha's monastery told him differently They said that loved 
ones surely brought joy and happiness. King Pasenadi concurred 
with the gamblers but his Queen Mallika maintained that only what 
the Buddha said must be true She justified her faith in the Buddha by 
giving many illustrations of the Buddha's penetrating and illumina- 
ting wisdom King Pasenadi was finally won over to her view. 

(8) Bahitika Sutta 

This discourse was given at Savatthi by the Venerable Ananda 
to King Pasenadi on the bank of the River Aciravati. He dealt with 
unwholesome deeds, words and thoughts which were blameworthy 
and wholesome deeds, words and thoughts which were praiseworthy. 
King Pasenadi was pleased with the discourse and made a gift of 
cloth from the country of Bahiti to the Venerable Ananda. 

66 Guide to Ttpttaka 

(9) Dhammacetiya Sutta 

King Pasenadi of Kosala once came to see the Buddha Entering 
the dwelling where the Buddha was staying, he fell on his forehead 
at the feet of the Buddha. When asked by the Buddha why he was 
showing such extreme humbleness and respect to the body of the 
Buddha, the king launched eloquently on a eulogy of the Buddha, 
praising his virtues The Buddha told his bhikkhus that the words 
uttered by the king constituted a memorial in honour of the Dhamma 
and urged them to learn this memorial and recite it frequently 

(10) Kappakatthala Sutta 

This discourse, given by the Buddha at Urunna, contains ans- 
wers to King Pasenadi Kosala's questions about four classes of peo- 
ple and their destinations after death, about SabbannutaNana, and 
about the great Brahma 

V. Brahmapa Vagga 

(1) Brahmayu Sutta 

The Brahmin Brahmayu was one hundred and twenty years old 
when he heard of the fame of the Buddha. He sent his disciple Uttara 
who was well versed in Vedas to find out by examining the thirty-two 
physical characteristics of a great man whether Gotama was indeed 
an Enlightened Buddha On Uttara's good report testifying to the 
Buddha having the requisite characteristics of a Buddha, Brahmayu 
went himself to see the Buddha Fully satisfied, after hearing the 
graduated discourse, that Gotama was indeed an enlightened Buddha, 
he became a devoted disciple and, achieving the third stage of the 
Path and Fruition, an Anagami before he passed away 

(2) Sela Sutta 

Sela was a brahmin of Apana market-town, who on hearing 
about the fame of the Buddha from Keniya the hermit, went to see 
the Buddha accompanied by three hundred young brahmins. After 
hearing a discourse from the Buddha he became fully convinced that 
he had indeed seen a truly enlightened Buddha. All of them request- 
ed for and received permission from the Buddha to join the Order 

Chp 5 Mayhima Nikaya 67 

(3) Assalayana Sutta 

Some five hundred brahmins who had come to Savatthi on busi- 
ness attempted to challenge the Buddha on his views with regard to 
the purity and nobility of the four classes of people They sent 
Assalayana, a highly talented young man well-versed in the Vedas, to 
contest with the Buddha The young man's meeting with the Buddha 
ended up in his conversion 

(4) Ghotamukfaa Sutta 

A discussion took place between the Venerable Udena and a 
brahmin by the name of Ghotamukha on the subject of the practice 
of the holy life. The Venerable Udena described four kinds of persons 
engaged in ascetic practices. After the discourse the Brahmin became 
a disciple of the Venerable Udena and took his refuge in the Buddha, 
the Dhamma and the Samgha 

(5) Canki Sutta 

Canki, a brahmin of Opasada Village, came to see the Buddha 
with a large crowd amongst whom was a young brahmin by the name 
of Kapatika The young man entered into a discussion with the 
Buddha about the Three Vedas' which had been handed down from 
generation to generation in unbroken tradition. The tradition which 
the brahmins believed to be the only Truth was likened by the 
Buddha to a line of blind men each one clinging on to the preceding 

(6) Esukari Sutta 

This discourse was given at Savatthi in connection with a brahmin 
named Esukari In this sutta too the Buddha rejected the brahmin 
classification of society into four classes claiming the highest posi- 
tion for the brahmins It was not only the brahmins who could develop 
loving-kindness, free from enmity and ill will Members of other 
classes also could develop loving-kindness It was not birth but the 
practice of wholesome dhamma that made a person noble. 

68 Guide to Tipitaka 

(7) Dhanafijani Sutta 

Dhananjani was an old devoted lay disciple of the Buddha After 
the death of his first wife who had great faith in the Buddha, the 
Dhamma and the Samgha, he was no longer diligent in and mindful 
of the practice of dhamma His second wife was without faith in the 
Teaching of the Buddha To maintain his family he resorted to wrong- 
ful means of livelihood The Venerable Sariputta put him back on 
the right path On his death-bed, he sent for the Venerable Sariputta 
who solaced him with the Dhamma This caused him on his death to 
be reborn in the Brahma world. The Buddha asked the Venerable 
Sariputta why he had put the old brahmin only on the way to the in- 
ferior Brahma world when a higher attainment was possible for him 

(8) Vasettha Sutta 

A discussion had arisen between two brahmin youths, Vasettha 
and Bharadvaja, on the origin of a brahmana Bharadvaja maintained 
it was birth, lineage and caste that made a person a brahmana 
Vasettha believed moral conduct and performance of customary 
duties were essential qualifications to be a brahmana They went to 
the Buddha for settlement of their dispute 

The Buddha told them that a person was not a brahmana just 
because of his birth if he was full of worldly attachments, or was 
harnessed to greed, ill will, craving, and ignorance A person became 
a brahmana whatever his birth, when he had cut off his fetters of 
defilements, removed the obstacles of ignorance and attained the 
knowledge of the Four Noble Truths. The most perfect brahmana was 
an Arahat 

(9) Subha Sutta 

This discourse was given on account of Subha, son of the 
brahmin Todeyya, at Savatthi. like other brahmins, Subha believed 
that only householders could accomplish meritorious deeds in a right 
manner, not those who had gone forth from the household life. The 
occupation of householders produced great benefits whereas the 
occupation of the recluse brought little benefits. The Buddha removed 
his wrong views and Subha became a devoted disciple of the Buddha. 

Chp 5 Majjhtma Nikaya 69 

(10) Safigarava Sutta 

Sangarava was a young brahmin who was full of pride with learn- 
ing in the Vedas, entertaining wrong views of his birth He went to 
ask the Buddha whether the Buddha claimed, like some samanas 
and brahmanas, to have attained in this very life, special knowledge 
and vision, and reached the other shore The Buddha explained that 
there were three kinds of samanas and brahmanas who made such 
claims those who made the claim through hearsay, having learnt 
things by hearsay only; those who made the claim by mere reason- 
ing and logic; and finally those who made the claim by personally 
realizing the penetrative insight of the Dhamma unheard of before. 

The Buddha told Sangarava that he was of this third type and 
recounted how he had become accomplished in the dhamma by 
practice and self-realization 

(c) Uparipannasa Pali 
L Devadaha Vagga 

(1) Devadaha Sutta 

This discourse was given by the Buddha at Devadaha in the 
country of the Sakyans to refute the wrong views of the Niganthas 
The Niganthas believed that whatever a person experienced in this 
life was caused by former action They practised austerity as a pe- 
nance to put an end to the result of former action. The Buddha 
taught them the right path that would lead to the end of suffering. 

(2) Pancattaya Sutta 

This discourse was given by the Buddha to bhikkhus at Savatthi 
to explain the wrong beliefs of other sects speculating on whether 
the world is finite or infinite, etc 

(3) ffinti Sutta 

This discourse was given by the Buddha at Kus ; nira. The 
Buddha explained that he taught the dhamma not for th< sake of 

70 Guide to Ttpttaka 

gain, such as robes, alms-food, lodgings, etc., nor in expectation of 
future happy existences His teachings, namely, the Four Methods 
of Steadfast Mindfulness, the Four Right Efforts, etc , in short, the 
Thirty-seven Factors of Enlightenment were for the attainment of 
higher knowledge leading to the end of suffering Whenever there 
was a dispute over the doctrine with regard to meanings and words, 
it should be resolved strictly in accordance with these dhammas 

(4) Samagama Sutta 

Nigantha Nataputta had recently died at Pava and his followers 
had split into two groups On being informed by Ananda that he was 
worried lest there be such a schism among the Order, after the 
passing away of the Buddha, the Buddha taught this discourse on 
imperfect and perfect teachers and disciples, on disputes and their 
origin, and on the essentials for his Teaching 

(5) Sunakkhatta Sutta 

Bhikkhu Sunakkhatta, a former Licchavi prince, once enquired 
of the Buddha whether all the bhikkhus who came to the Buddha 
and declared their attainment of Arahatship actually attained it The 
Buddha said some of them actually did attain Arahatship whereas 
some deceived themselves; again others claimed Arahatship, knowing 
full well that they were not entitled to it, simply to trouble him with 
unnecessary questions The Buddha then taught him the essential 
dhammas in which one must become accomplished before one could 
claim Arahatship. 

(6) Anefija-sappaya Sutta 

This discourse was given by the Buddha while he was staying 
once at Kammasadhamma, in the country of the Kuras The Buddha 
explained to the bhikkhus the dangers of enjoying sensual pleasure, 
which were transitory, empty and deceptive He said he had shown 
them the path leading to imperturbability (Anefija-sappaya), to the 
realm of Nothingness, to the realm of Neither Consciousness Nor 
Non-Consciousness, and ultimately to Nibbana He then urged the 
bhikkhus: "Go to the forest, to solitude Strive hard in meditation " 

Chp 5 Majjhtma Nikaya 71 

(7) Gapakamoggallana Sutta 

The Buddha was once asked by the Brahmin Ganaka Moggallana 
whether there were systematic rules, practices and methods in his 
Teaching, just as there were training rules, manuals, guidance in 
various branches of worldly knowledge The Buddha told him about 
the Dhamma giving details about precepts to be observed, disci- 
plinary rules to be followed, various concentrations to be developed 
and jhanas and pafifias to be achieved step by step 

(8) Gopakamoggallana Sutta 

Two leading brahmins of Rajagaha asked the Venerable Ananda 
whether the Buddha had appointed a particular thera to be the head 
of the Sarhgha after he passed away Ananda informed them there 
was no such person No person could substitute the Buddha They 
wanted to know then if the Samgha had agreed upon a certain bhik- 
khu to be their head When Ananda told them there was no such 
person, they_wondered how the Samgha could remain in agreement 
and unity Ananda then explained to them that they had indeed 
found refuge in the Dhamma and how the Samgha of each locality 
recited together the Patimokkha, the summary of disciplinary rules, 
every half month 

(9) Mahapuppama Sutta 

The Buddha was sitting in the midst of a large number of bhik- 
khus out in the open on a full moon night. All the bhikkhus were 
intently engaged in meditation. The silence of the night was broken 
by the oldest of the meditating bhikkhus who, with the permission 
of the Buddha, asked him about the five aggregates of grasping, 
how craving developed with respect to each aggregate, and how 
craving would cease The Buddha explained each point raised by the 
bhikkhu to the great benefit of the assembled Samgha 

(10) Culapuppama Sutta 

This discourse was given on how to differentiate between a good 
man and a bad man, with detailed description of the characteristics 
of good and bad men 

72 Guide to Ttpttaka 

II. Anupada Vagga 

(1) Anupada Sutta 

This discourse was given at Savatthi The Buddha brought out 
in full detail the virtues of one of his two Chief Disciples, the Venerable 
Sariputta extolling his wisdom which was extensive like the big 
earth, describing how, unlike other ordinary disciples who had attain- 
ed Arahatship, the Venerable Sanputta went through the practices 
for development of stla, samadhi and pannd in a very thorough man- 
ner, step by step, contemplating very intensely on the minutest 
phenomenon of 'arising and perishing' until he gamed the highest 
goal of the holy life. The Buddha explained also how the Venerable 
Sariputta was fully accomplished in the Dhamma to deserve the 
honour of being a Chief Disciple of the Buddha 

(2) Chabbisodhana Sutta 

The Buddha said that when any bhikkhu claimed to the attain- 
ment of Arahatship, his claim should not be admitted or rejected 
outright His claim should be carefully scrutinized according to the 
guiding principles provided in this discourse 

(3) Sappurisa Sutta 

This describes how a good, worthy man is to be distinguished 
from a bad, unworthy person enumerating twenty-six characteristics 
by which each individual is to be judged 

(4) Sevitabbasevitabba Sutta 

This discourse was given briefly by the Buddha, and the Vener- 
able Sariputta continued to expound it in more detail It deals with 
practices and actions which a bhikkhu should or should not resort 
to. Whatever action or practice or object is conducive to one's spiri- 
tual progress and development should be resorted to and made use 
of; whatever is detrimental to one's spiritual advancement should be 

Chp 5 Mayhima Nikaya 73 

(5) Bahudhatuka Sutta 

This discourse is an analytical study of elements, dhatu; bases, 
ayatana; the law of dependent origination, and the right or wrong 
causes Only the bhikkhu skilled in these studies may be reckoned 
as a wise person 

(6) Isigili Sutta 

This discourse was given by the Buddha at Isigili, one of the 
hills surrounding Rajagaha. This is an account of why this hill was 
called by that name and of the many Paccekabuddhas who used to 
dwell there 

(7) Mahacattarisaka Sutta 

This discourse is a detailed exposition on Right Concentration 
which has its base in the other seven constituent parts of the Noble 
Path, on twenty meritorious dhammas and on twenty demeritorious 

(8) Anapanassati Sutta 

Anapanassati as a method of meditation was explained to a large 
gathering of bhikkhus including nearly all well-known senior dis- 
ciples such as the Venerable Sanputta, Maha Moggallana, Maha Kas- 
sapa, Anuruddha, Ananda etc Development of mindfulness of respi- 
ration establishes a person in the Four Methods of Steadfast Mind- 
fulness. The Four Methods of Steadfast Mindfulness, being develop- 
ed, establishes a person in the Seven Factors of Enlightenment The 
Seven Factors of Enlightenment, being developed, bring about Insight 
Knowledge and emancipation 

(9) Kayagatasati Sutta 

This discourse describes the meditation practice involving con- 
templation on the thirty-two parts of the body. The practical steps in 
the method as well as its advantages are fully explained. 

74 Guide to Tipitaka 

(10) Sankharupapatti Sutta 

This discourse explains how it is possible to have one's wish 
fulfilled if one is well established in the five wholesome dhammas, 
namely, faith, moral conduct, learning, liberality and wisdom 

III. Suniiata Vagga 

(1) Culasunnata Sutta 

The Buddha once told Ananda that he often dwelt in the libera- 
tion of the void, Sunnata-vihara When requested by Ananda, he ex- 
plained what liberation of the void meant Liberation through Insight 
that discerns voidness of self 

(2) Mahastmnata Sutta 

Seeing many bhikkhus living together in a crowded dwelling 
place, the Buddha told Ananda that a bhikkhu should not like living 
in company Solitude is most beneficial for a bhikkhu He urged 
bhikkhus to look upon him as a sincere friend who would repeatedly 
point out their faults to help correct them 

(3) Acchariya-abbhuta Sutta 

This discourse is an account of the twenty marvellous attributes 
of the Buddha as extolled by the Venerable Ananda 

(4) Bakula Sutta 

Bhikkhu Bakula, aged one hundred and sixty years, met his old 
friend, the naked ascetic Kassapa, after he had been in the Order of 
the Buddha for eighty years. Kassapa asked him how often he had 
indulged in sexual intercourse during those eighty years Bakkula told 
his friend the marvellous attributes he possessed as an Arahat, 
including the fact that he became an Arahat after seven days of stre- 
nuous endeavour, after which he was completely rid of moral defile- 

Ckp5 Majjhtma Nikaya 75 

(5) Dantabhiimi Sutta 

In this discourse the Buddha explained to the novice Aciravata 
how a young prince like Prince Jayasena, son of King Bimbisara 
could not hope to know, to see, to realize such dhammas as concen- 
tration and jhanas, living as he did in the lap of luxury, surrounded 
by pleasures of senses, enjoying the pleasures of senses and consum- 
ed and overwhelmed by the flames of desires. The Buddha pointed 
out the difference in outlook between an Arahat and an ordinary 
uninstructed person giving the simile of a tamed elephant and a wild 
elephant of the forest 

(6) Bhumija Sutta 

This discourse was given by the Venerable Bhumija to his nep- 
hew, Prince Jayasena to explain how Fruition would result by prac- 
tising the Noble Path of Eight Constituents. The Buddha confirmed 
that only by following the right Path, namely, the Noble Path of 
Eight Constituents and not any other Path, Fruition would result. 
The Buddha gave the similes of attempting to make oil out of sand, 
squeezing the horns of a cow for milk, churning water to make 
butter, and rubbing two pieces of wet green wood to make fire 

(7) Anuruddha Sutta 

This discourse was given by the Venerable Anuruddha to 
Pancakanga, the carpenter, to explain the difference between Appamana 
Cetovimutti, liberation through practice of four Brahmavihdra Medi- 
tation and Mahaggata Cetovimutti, liberation through Kasma Medi- 
tation using a meditational device 

(8) Upakkilesa Sutta 

Once the Buddha left Kosambi because of quarrelling, conten- 
tious bhikkhus and went to Pacinavamsa Park where the Venerable 
Anuruddha, the Venerable Nandiya and the Venerable Kimila were 
staying When these bhikkhus informed the Buddha about the aura 
(obhdsd) and vision (dassand) of various shapes and forms they per- 
ceived in the course of their meditation, the Buddha taught them 
about Upakkilesa, mental defilements, that appear at a certain stage 

76 Guide to Ttpitaka 

in meditation process They should be on their guard not to be led 
astray by these deceptive defilements 

(9) Balapaptfita Sutta 

This discourse was given by the Buddha at Savatthi on fools and 
characteristic behaviour of fools, on how evil thoughts, words and 
deeds of fools harm themselves and others, and on how these evil 
actions lead fools to states of misery and woe The utter wretched- 
ness and intense suffering in such states beggar description. Once a 
fool, through his evil actions, found himself in one of the nether 
regions, there was very little likelihood for him to rise again to the 
upper realms. The chances are more remote than that of a blind turtle 
to get his head through a single hole in a yoke which was being 
tossed about in a stormy sea 

The discourse deals also with the wise and their characteristics, 
the wholesome thoughts, words and deeds of the wise, the whole- 
some effects resulting from such meritorious actions and bliss enjoy- 
ed by them in the realms of happiness 

(10) Devadiita Sutta 

This is a discourse on evil results arising from evil action, giving 
details of suffering in realms of misery and woe 

IV. Vibhahga Vagga 

(1) Bhaddekaratta Sutta 

This sutta which means 'a discourse on a night of good medita- 
tion' gives a detailed description of Vipassana meditation The Buddha 
urged the bhikkhus not to dwell in the past which was #one, nor to 
seek the future which was unattained yet, but to perceive the dhanima 
in the phenomena presently occurring, at the same tune not becoming 
involved in and attached to them 

(2) Ananda-bhaddekaratta Sutta 

This is a discourse in which the Venerable Ananda repeated to 
the bhikkhus the Bhaddekaratta Sutta, for which performance he was 
highly commended by the Buddha 

Chp5 Majjhima Ntkaya 77 

(3) Mafaakaccaaa-bfaaddekaratta Sutta 

This is a detailed exposition by the Venerable Mahakaccana on 
Vipassam meditation of the five khandhas as explained by the Buddha 
in the Bhaddekaratta Sutta. The Venerable Mahakaccana was com- 
mended by the Buddha for his exposition 

(4) Lomasakaftgiya-bhaddekaratta Sutta 

This is a detailed exposition by the Venerable Lomasakangiya 
on Vipassana meditation of the five khandas as explained in the 
Bhaddekaratta Sutta 

(5) Culakamma-vibha&ga Sutta 

Young Subha, son of the Brahmin Todeyya, was curious to 
know why some were born in high class families, some in low class 
families, why some were born nch, others poor, why some were 
beautiful, others ugly, why some were of good health with a long 
span of life, others of poor health with a short span of life, etc He 
approached the Buddha and asked fourteen questions in all to satisfy 
his curiosity The Buddha gave a long discourse on kamma and its 
resultant effects. Deeds, words and thoughts have endless conse- 
quences of joy and sorrow to be experienced in this very life and 
hereafter Men depend on their own deeds and nothing else for 
their condition and status in life 

(6) Mahakamma-vibhanga Sutta 

Tins is another discourse on kamma and its resultant effects 
which are most difficult to foresee. How the workings of kamma were 
most strange and surprising were explained with reference to four 
types of individuals 

(7) Salayatana-vibhanga Sutta 

This discourse is a detailed analytical exposition on six internal 
sense bases, six external sense bases, six types of consciousness 
arising from six types of contact, etc , by the Buddha. 

78 Guide to Tipitaka 

(8) Uddesa-vibhafiga Sutta 

In this discourse, the Buddha taught briefly how restraint of the 
mind with regard to external sense bases and non-attachment to inter- 
nal sense bases led to the cessation of suffering. The Venerable 
Kaccana gave an exposition on this subject which earned him praise 
from the Buddha. 

(9) Arapa-vibhaiiga Sutta 

This discourse is an exhortation on the practice of the Middle 
Path, avoiding the two extremes of indulgence m sensual pleasures 
and practice of self-mortification, and on modes of conduct, not in- 
dulging in backbiting, not keeping of colloquial vocabulary only and 
not spurning the conventional usage of the language, but speaking 
gently, slowly 

(10) Dhatu-vibhafiga Sutta 

This is an important discourse taught to Pukkusati, a recluse 
who had left the homelife inspired by the fame of Gotama Buddha 
whom he had not yet met and whom he was on his way to see The 
Buddha went purposely to meet this recluse in a potter's hut to teach 
this discourse* A man is made up of six elements, namely, solidity, 
fluidity, heat, motion, space and consciousness On analysis, none of 
these elements is found to be 'mine' or 'me' or *my self All of them 
are subject to the law of impermanence, so are the three types of 
sensation When a bhikkhu perceives the real nature of the physical 
and mental phenomena, he becomes endowed with absolute wisdom, 
knowledge of the Noble Truth 

(11) Sacca-vibhafiga Sutta 

In this discourse the Buddha taught the bhikkhus the Four Noble 
Truths as he had done at the time of giving the discourse* on the 
Turning of the Wheel of Dhamma at Isipatana in Baranasi He then 
urged the bhikkhus to seek guidance from the two theras, the 
Venerable Sanputta and the Venerable Maha Moggallana, likening the 
Venerable Sanputta to a mother and the Venerable Maha Moggallana 
to a foster-mother The Venerable Sariputta could analyse and ex- 

Chp 5 Mayhima Ntkaya 79 

plain the Four Noble Truths m detail and lead them to the stage of 
the first Path and Fruition The Venerable Maha Moggallana could 
then lead them on till the highest Path and Fruition, the Arahatship, 
was achieved 

(12) Dakkhina-vibhahga Sutta 

This discourse was given to the Buddha's foster-mother Maha- 
pajapati on the occasion of her offering to the Buddha a set of robes 
made by her own hand The Buddha urged his foster-mother to make 
the offering to the Samgha, the community of bhikkhus He enume- 
rated fourteen kinds of donations to individuals and seven kinds of 
donations to the Samgha, explaining the superior benefit accruing 
from offerings made to the Samgha 

V. Salayatana Vagga 

(1) Anathapip^ikovada Sutta 

This discourse was given by the Venerable Sariputta to Anan- 
thapmdika on his death-bed The Venerable Sanputta enjoined him 
not to grasp at the six internal sense bases, nor the six external 
sense bases, nor the feelings that arise in relation to them, nor at the 
six elements (including space and consciousness), nor at the five 
aggregates, nor the realms of Infinite Space, of Infinite Conscious- 
ness, of Nothingness, of Neither Consciousness Nor Non-Cons- 
ciousness With no attachment to any of them, there would come 

(2) Channovada Sutta 

The Venerable Channa was very ill The Venerable Sanputta and 
Cunda paid him a visit They gave him solace by giving instruction 
on Vipassana meditation The Venerable Channa died an Arahat 

(3) Puppovada Sutta 

This discourse was given to Bhikkhu Punna by the Buddha on 
how to practise the holy life in solitude When the Buddha asked 
him how he would contend with the dangers which infested the 

80 Guide to Tipttaka 

locality where he was going to stay, he told the Buddha of the six 
categories of fortitude he was endowed with, including indifference 
to an attack even on his life 

(4) Nandakovada Sutta 

This discourse was given by the Venerable Nandaka to five 
hundred bhikkhunis in the presence of the Buddha one fullmoon 
night He dealt with the twelve categories of internal and external 
sense bases, the six types of consciousness, their impermanent nature 
and how to practise the Seven Factors of Enlightenment He won 
the approval of the Buddha for his lucid exposition of the Dhamma 

(5) Cularahulovada Sutta 

This discourse was given by the Buddha to his son Rahula who 
was then a bhikkhu of the Order fully mature to receive the highest 
dhamma The Buddha exhorted him, in the form of question and 
answers on the impermanent nature of the twelve sense bases, in 
consequence of which the Venerable Rahula attained to Arahatship 

(6) Chachakka Sutta 

This discourse was given by the Buddha frequently to many 
bhikkhus on the six internal sense bases, the six external sense 
bases, six types of consciousness, six types of contacts, six types of 
sensation, six kinds of craving and on how their interrelationship led 
to continuity of phenomena from one existence to another 

(7) Mahasalayatanika Sutta 

This discourse is an exposition on how the ignorance of the six 
categories of dhamma such as the six internal sense bases, etc , 
gives rise to craving, and craving to suffering It also explains how, 
when they are seen as they really are by following the Noble Path of 
Eight Constituents, the knowledge of the Seven Factors of 
Enlightenment arises resulting in the perfect Peace of Nibbana. 

Chp5 Mayktma Ntkaya 81 

(8) Nagaravindeyya Sutta 

This is a discourse in which the Buddha explained to the villa- 
gers of Nagaravinda the distinction between samanas and brahmanas 
who deserved honour and homage and those who did not. Only 
those religious teachers who had discarded the craving that arose 
out ofdyatana dhammas were worthy of veneration. 

(9) Pindapataparisuddhi Sutta 

This is an exhortation to bhikkhus to keep themselves pure in 
mind while going on alms round or while eating their meal, by dis- 
carding craving, removing hindrances and developing the knowledge 
of the Seven Factors of Enlightenment through continuous practice. 

(10) Indriyabhavana Sutta 

This discourse was given to the Venerable Ananda by the Buddha 
showing the difference between the control of senses practised by 
an Arahat and that practised by one still under training. The Buddha 
explained that feeling of liking, disliking or of indifference that arise 
from conditioned phenomena could be soon eliminated by the prac- 
tice of Vipassana Meditation 



This collection of discourses in the Suttanta Pitaka known as 
Samyuta Nikaya has 7762 suttas of varied length, generally short, ar- 
ranged in a special order according to subject matter into five major 
divisions, (a) Sagatha Vagga, (b) Nidana Vagga, (c) Khandha Vagga, (d) 
Salayatana Vagga and (e) Maha Vagga Each major vagga is divided 
into fifty-six groups known as samyutta related subjects grouped 
together The sarfiyuttas are named after the subjects they deal with, 
for example, Bojjhanga Samyutta on the Seven Factors of Enlighten- 
ment, or after some principal personalities such as the Venerable 
Sariputta, King Pasenadi of Kosala, or Sakka Kosala Samyutta is a 
group of discourses concerning King Pasenadi of Kosala, and Devata 
Samyutta deals with devas like Sakka, Indra, Brahrna, etc Each sam- 
yutta is further divided into sections which are made up of individual 
suttas. Thus the well-known Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta is the first 
discourse (sutta) in the second section of Sacca Samyutta which comes 
under the Mahavagga division of Samyutta Nikaya In the following 
excerpts from Sarfiyutta Nikaya, only a few suttas representing each 
major division are given 

(a) Sagatha Vagga SaiJiyutta Pali 

This major division of Sagatha Vagga Samyutta Pah contains 
eleven sarfiyuttas with discourses grouped according to characters 
appearing in them, the king of devas, the devas, the Brahma, Mara, 
King of Kosala, bhikkhus and bhikkhum s The name of the Vagga, 
Sagatha, is derived from the fact that various personalities appearing 
in the discourses conducted their dialogues or interviews with the 
Buddha mostly in verse 

Devata Sarfiyutta 

On the request of a Brahma, the Buddha explains in the Ggha- 
tarana Sutta of this samyutta that he crosses over the flood of sensuous 

Chp 6 Sawiyutta Nikaya 83 

desire, of existence, of wrong views and of ignorance neither by re- 
maining inactive, nor by making strenuous efforts By remaining in- 
active he will be sucked into the whirlpool, by making frantic efforts he 
will be swept away in the current of the flood He follows a middle 

The Buddha also teaches m other suttas of this samyutta that 
all beings are entangled in the mesh of attachments brought about by 
six internal sense bases and six external sense objects The way to 
escape from these entanglements is to become established in sila, to 
develop Concentration Meditation and Insight Meditation in order to 
be fully accomplished in the higher knowledge of liberation 

Until one becomes fully developed in the knowledge of the Path, 
tanhd can still give nse to rebirth This fact is borne out by the story 
of a deva named Samana, given m Acchara Sutta A certain young 
man having faith in the Teaching of the Buddha gets himself admitted 
into the order Then taking a meditation subject of his choice, he 
repairs to a solitary abode in the forest and devotes himself incessantly 
to the practice of meditation 

His efforts at meditation are very strenuous Thus striving day 
and night and getting enervated by lack of sufficient nourishing food, 
he is suddenly seized with a paralytic stroke which causes him instant 
death Although he has put in a great deal of effort in the practice of 
meditation, he passes away without even attaining the stage of 
Sotapanna, the Stream-winner 

Because of tanhd which he has not yet eradicated, he has to go 
through the round of existences again, but in consequence of the 
merit he has acquired in the practice of meditation, a magnificent 
celestial palace awaits him in the celestial abode of the Tavatimsa 

By spontaneous manifestation, he appears as if just awakened 
from sleep, at the entrance of the palace, a celestial being resplendent 
in the full celestial attire He does not realize that he has taken a new 
existence m a new world He thinks he is still a bhikkhu of the human 
world The celestial maidens, who are awaiting his arrival, bring a 
body-length mirror and place it in front of the deva On seeing his 
reflection in the mirror, he finally realizes that he has left the 
bhikkhus' existence and has arisen in the celestial realm 

The Samana Deva is greatly perturbed then He reflects that he 
has taken up meditation not to be reborn in the celestial land but to 

84 Guide to Ttpttaka 

attain the goal of Arahatta Fruition So without entering the palatial 
building, he repairs hastily to the presence of the Buddha He asks of 
the Buddha how to avoid, and proceed past the Mohana garden, the 
Tavatimsa celestial abode, full of celestial maidens who to him ap- 
pear as demons The Buddha advises him that the straight path for a 
quick escape is the Noble Path of Eight Constituents using the two- 
wheeler Vipassana carriage, fitted with the two wheels of physical 
exertion and mental exertion While the Buddha is teaching the 
Dhamma in three verses, Samana Deva, is able to develop quickly 
successive Vipassand Ndnas step by step until he attains the first 
Path and Fruition 

* Devaputta Sarfiyutta 

In Rohitassa Sutta of this samyutta, Rohitassa Deva comes to 
the Buddha with another problem He tells the Buddha that he was 
in a former existence a hermit endowed with supernormal psychic 
power which enabled him to traverse throughout the universe with 
immense speed He had travelled with that speed for-over one hundr- 
ed years to reach the end of the world but he did not succeed He was 
to know whether it would be possible to know or see or reach the 
end of the world where there is no birth nor death by travelling there 
The Buddha says he does not declare that there is a world's end where 
there is no birth nor death to be known or seen or reached by 
travelling there Yet he does not say that there is an ending of suffer- 
ing without reaching Nibbana It is in the fathom long body of one- 
self with its perception and its mind that the Buddha describes the 
world, the ongin of the world, the cessaton of the world and the way 
leading to the cessation of the world The Buddha's way leading to the 
cessation of the world is the Noble Path of eight Constituents 

Kosala Saifayutta 

In this samyutta are interesting suttas which describe frequent 
meetings of the Buddha with King Pasenadi of Kosala The king has 
heard of the fame of the Buddha from his queen Malhka but has not 
yet met him. But when at last he meets the Buddha as described in 
the Dahara Sutta, he puts a direct question whether the Venerable 
Gotama claims to have attained the Supreme Enlightenment He says 

Chp 6 Samyutta Nikaya 85 

that there are^ other religious teachers such as Purana Kassapa, 
Makkhah Gosala, Nigantha Nataputta, Sancaya, Pakudha and Ajita,' 
with their own order, with their own followers, who are much older 
than the Buddha and are generally regarded to be Arahats Even 
these teachers do not make claim to Supreme Enlightenment 

The Buddha replies that if it can be rightly said of anyone to 
have attained the Supreme Enlightenment, then it is only of himself 
that it can rightly be said The Buddha adds that there are four things 
that should not be looked down upon and despised because they are 
young They are a young prince, a serpent, a fire and a bhikkhu A 
young ponce of noble parentage should not be despised He might 
one day become a powerful ruler and wreak royal vengeance A 
writhing snake moves very fast, it might attack and bite a heedless 
man A small fire, when heedlessly ignored might grow in intensity 
and cause untold damage A man treating a virtuous bhikkhu with 
contempt might bring upon himself unwholesome results such as 
dwindling prosperity and lack of offspring to inherit from him 

Dutiya Aputtaka Sutta describes another occasion when King 
Pasenadi calls on the Buddha after he has just taken over an immense 
accumulation of wealth belonging to a multi-millionaire who has died 
recently The dead man has left behind treasure worth over one 
hundred lakhs which, in the absence of any heirs to claim, becomes 
the king's property The king reports that the dead millionaire was a 
great miser, a niggardly person, begrudging even to himself the 
luxury of comfortable living He wore only very rough, thread-bare 
clothes, eating poor, coarse food and travelled about in an old, roof- 
less rickety carnage 

The Buddha confirms that what the king says about the million- 
aire is quite true and tells the king the reason for the millionaire's 
miserliness In one of his past existences, he met a Paccekabuddha 
going round for alms-food He gave permission to his family to offer 
food to the Paccekabuddha and went out to attend to some business 
On his way back, he met the Paccekabuddha whom he asked whether 
he had been given any alms-food by his family, and looked into the 
bowl On seeing the delicious food in the bowl, an unwholesome 
thought suddenly arose in his mind that it would have been more 
profitable to feed his servant with such food than to given it away to 
a Paccekabuddha. 

86 Guide to Tipitaka 

For his good deed of allowing his family to make the offering to 
a Paccekabuddha he was reborn in the deva world seven times and 
became a millionaire seven times in the human world But as a result 
of the ill thought he had entertained in that previous existence he 
never had the inclination to live a luxurious Me enjoying fine clothes, 
good food, and riding in comfortable carnages. 

The millionaire has now exhausted the good as well as the bad 
effects of his thoughts and actions with regard to the offering of food 
to the Paccekabuddha But unfortunately he has to face the conse- 
quences of a more serious evil deed, that of causing the death of his 
own nephew in a past existence 

The Buddha tells the king that he is therefore reborn, after his 
death in the human world, in the state of the most intense suffering, 

Brahmana Samyutta 

Many brahmins of Bharadvaja clan become devoted disciples of 
the Buddha, ultimately attaining Arahatship At first, all of them are 
quite unfriendly, if not openly hostile Bharadvaja Gotta, mentioned 
in Dhananjam Sutta, is such a brahmin Although his wife Dhananjam 
is a disciple of the Buddha, very much devoted to his Teaching, 
Bharadvaja Gotta and his brahmin teachers show great contempt 
for the Buddha and his Teaching. 

On one occasion when Bharadvaja is giving a feast to his brahmin 
teachers, his wife while in the course of waiting upon these brahmins 
slips accidentally and, as she tries to regain her balance, blurts out 
three times in excitement the formula of adoration to the Buddha 
'Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammasambuddhassa" Upon hear- 
ing the word 'Buddha', the brahmin teachers rise up from their seats 
and run away helter-skelter in all directions just like a flock of crows 
in whose midst a stone has been thrown. 

Telling his wife in a fury that he would defeat the Buddha m a 
contest of doctrines, Bharadvaja goes to see the Buddha The inter- 
view ends up with Bharadvaja asking the Buddha's permission to 
enter his Order He finally attains to Arahatship 

Akkosa Sutta mentions about Bharadvaja Gotta's younger brother 
Akkosaka Bharadvaja, who on hearing that his elder brother has 
joined the Buddha's Order is highly exasperated Raging with fury, he 

Lhp 6 Samyutta Nikaya 87 

storms into the presence of the Buddha whom he reviles and re- 
proaches in the most vulgar, offensive, obscene, foul language 

Very calmly and with great compassion the Buddha asks the 
young Bharadvaja il he ever has given gifts to friends and relatives 
When the young Bharadvaja replies that he Indeed has made offers 
of gifts to his tnends and relatives, the Buddha asks him, "What 
happens to the gifts il your friends and relatives do not accept them?" 

"Well then they remain with me as my own property," replies 

Then the Buddha says, "You have heaped abusive language on 
us who have not uttered a single word of abuse to you, you have been 
very olfensive and quanelsome with us who do not offend you nor 
quarrel with you \ oung Bharadvaja, we do not accept your words of 
abuse, your offensive and quanelsome language They remain with 
you as your own property " 

Taken by surprise* by this unexpected reaction, Bharadvaja is 
frightened with the thought that this might be a recluse's method of 
casting a spell on him by \\ay of retaliation He asks the Buddha if 
he is angry with him for his rude behaviour The Buddha states that 
he has long lelt anger behind Being free from all mental defile- 
ments how could be take offence with him 1 To meet anger with anger 
is to sink lower than the original reviler He is the conqueror who wins 
a hard won battle by not retaliating anger with anger 

At the end of the discourse, Akkosaka Bharadvaja, the younger 
brother, also leaves home life to join the Buddha's Order In time, 
he too becomes accomplished in higher knowledge and attains to 

In Kasi Bharadvaja Sutta is an account of the Buddha's 
encounter with the brahmin Kasi Bharadvaja who is a rich landowner 

It is sowing time and Kasi Bharadvaja is preparing to start 
ploughing operations \\ith five hundred ploughs It is made an auspi- 
cious occasion with distribution of food and with festivities The 
Buddha goes to when 1 iood is being distributed and stands at one side 
Kasi Bharadvaja, seeing him waiting tor food, says to him, "I plough, 
samana, and I sou Having ploughed and sown, I eat You too, samana, 
should plough and sow , having ploughed and sown, you shall eat " 

The Buddha leplies, "1 too plough, brahmin, and I sow, and 
having ploughed and sown, I eat." 

88 Guide to Tipitaka 

"We see no yoke or plough or pole or oxen of yours Yet you 
claim to be a ploughman How do you explain yourselP" asks the 

'The faith which I have had since the time of Sumedha, the 
hermit, is the seed It will grow to bear the fruit of Nibbana The si la 
with which I keep control of my sense doors is the rain The two 
kinds of knowledge, mundane and supramundane, I possess are my 
plough and yoke. Sense of shame for doing evil and fear of evil deeds 
are the pole and the handle of the plough My energy is the ox, and 
my concentration is the rope with which I put the ox to the yoke My 
mindfulness is the ploughshare and the goad Guarded in my speech 
and modest in the use of food, these self-restraints serve as a fence 
round my field of Dhamma With my harnessed ox as my energy, I 
have ploughed on, never turning back until the seed produces the 
fruit of Nibbana, the Deathless Having done such ploughing, I eat 
now what I have sown and I am free from every kind ot suffering " 

Kasi Bharadvaja is so delighted and impressed with the Buddha's 
words that he requests to be regarded as a disciple of the Buddha 
from that day till the end of his life 

In Gahatthavandana Sutta the Buddha explains that the brah- 
mins well versed in the Vedas as well as kings ruling over human 
dominions, and devas of Catumaharajika and Tavatimsa realm bow 
in homage to the Sakka, the king of devas The Sakka himself shows 
respect and makes obeisance not only to samanas who have lived 
their holy life without any breach of moral conduct for many years 
but also to the lay disciples of the Buddha who are well established 
in their faith and who have done meritorious deeds of giving chanty, 
observing the Five, the Eight or the Ten precepts, and dutifully main- 
taining their families 

(b) Nidana Vagga Samyutta Pali 

This second major division of Nidana Vagga Samyutta Pali con- 
tains ten samyuttas, all dealing with fundamental aspects of the doc- 
trine The discourses are chiefly concerned with the principles of con- 
ditionality and interdependence, explained in the detailed formula 
which is called 'Paticcasamuppada', Conditioned Genesis or Dependent 
Origination, consisting of twelve factors 

Chp 6 Samyutta Nikaya 89 

Various aspects of Paticcasamuppada, together with expositions 
on doctrinal matters concerning practice of the holy life form the 
mam theme of early suttas m these sariiyuttas 

Nidana Saihyutta 

In Paticcasamuppada Sutta, the first sutta of this samyutta, the 
law of Dependent Origination outlined in the form of a formula is 
briefly explained by the Buddha to five hundred bhikkhus who are 
perceived by the Buddha to be sufficiently developed and ripe for the 
attainment to Arahatslup In the Vibhanga Sutta, the second sutta of 
this samyutta, the law of Dependent Origination is explained in fuller 
detail to the same bhikkhus 

In Paficaverabhaya Sutta, the Buddha lays down the criteria by 
which the status of attainment of a noble bhikkhu may be judged If a 
bhikkhu is freed of the five dangers arising from five evil deeds, 
namely, killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, telling lies and taking 
intoxicating liquor and drugs, if he is established in the four accom- 
plishments ot a Solapanna, namely, firm faith and confidence in the 
virtues and attributes of the Buddha, of the Dhamma and of the 
Samgha, and perfect purity in si la, and if he possesses comprehen- 
sive analytical knowledge of the law ot Dependent Origination, he is 
assured of a happv hiture, with no clanger of arising in states of woe 
and misery and is certain ot further advancement in the holy life. 

In Puttamamstpama Sutta, it is explained that four nutriments, 
ahara, are 'conditions* necessary for the existence and continuity of 
beings (i) Ordinary material food (kabahkdrahara), (ii) Contact of 
sense organs (phassa) with sense objects, (in) C6nsciousness 
(mnndna], and (iv) Mental volitional or will (wanosanc-etaw) 

This sutta is addressed especially to young bhikkhus recently 
admitted into the Older They are enjoined to take thelc meals, with 
due reflection on the loathsome nature of food so as aot to be over- 
come by greed and attachment for it. A bhikkhu should take meals 
not with a view to enjoy it or relish it, thereby augmenting craving, 
but just to sustain himself in order that the holy life may be lived. A 
particularly illuminating parable is used here by the Buddha A man 
and his wife set out on a very long journey accompanied by their 
beloved son Half-way on their journey they tan short of food With 
no means of Jbresh supply, they plodded on with starvation staring in 

90 Guide to Tipitaka 

their face. The little son soon succumbed to hunger and died The 
man and his wife decided to save their lives by eating the flesh of 
their dead son They ate with no relish nor enjoyment but only to 
sustain themselves for the rest of the journey 

Other apt parables are given by the Buddha for the understand- 
ing of the remaining three nutriments When one understands the 
real nature of nutriments on which life depends, one understands the 
craving, tanhd, responsible for all the suffering Thereby the way is 
open to the supreme liberation, the Arahatship 

Susima Paribbzgaka Sutta gives an account of the wandering 
ascetic Susima who is one of those who join the Buddha's Order with 
ulterior motives After the rams residence many bhikkhus come to 
pay their respect to the Buddha to whom they report their attainment 
of Arahatship When he learns from these Arahats that they possess 
no supernormal powers such as the Divine Power of Vision, Divine 
Power of Hearing, or Knowing Other People's Mind, he is very dis- 
appointed He has come into the Order just to acquire such powers 
with which to win fame and gain for himself 

He approaches the Buddha and inquires how the bhikkhus could 
claim Arahatship when they possess no supernormal powers. The 
Buddha explains to him that their liberation is through pure Insight 
Knowledge, not associated with jhana accomplishments Through 
Vipassana meditation only they have seen the real nature of ndma 
and rupa (realities of nature, Dhammatthiti) followed by realization of 
Nibbana through Magga Nana 

The Buddha takes him through the same course of meditation, 
testing by means of questions his understanding of the five khandhas, 
their real nature of impennanence, unsatisfactonness, msubstantiality, 
finally establishing in him the insight that none of these khandhas is 
to be regarded as 'This is mine; this is I; this is my self' At the end 
of the discourse he gains full understanding of the Dhamrna with the 
attainment of Arahatship. When he realizes Arahatship himself without 
coming into possession of the supernormal powers, he confesses to 
the Buddha the ultenor motive with which he had first joined the 
Order, and begs to be pardoned for such evil intentions. 

Dhatu Samytitta 

The natural law of affinity is pointed out by the Buddha in the 

Chp 6 Samyutta Nikaya 91 

CaAkama Sutta of this samyutta while he is staying at the Gijjhakuta 
Hill near Rajagaha He draws the attention of the bhikkhus to the scene 
outside, where his senior disciples are taking a stroll attended upon 
by their own group of followers He says "Bhikkhus, those many 
bhikkhus under the leadership of the Venerable Sanputta are all wise 
being endowed with much deep knowledge of the Dhamma Those 
surrounding the Venerable Maha Moggallana are well accomplished 
in supernormal powers The Venerable Mahakassapa and his fol- 
lowers are stiet observers of Dhutcmga austerity practices The bhik- 
khus led by the Venerable Anuruddha are fully endowed with the 
Divine Power of Vision The Venerable Puma and his disciples are 
adepts at teaching the Dhamma The Venerable Upali with his 
followers are experts in Vmaya rules of discipline and the bhikkhus 
under Ananda's guidance are noted for their knowledge in many 
fields Devadatta and his many followers are distinguished by their 
evil ways, thoughts and desires Bhikkhus, in this way are beings 
grouped together in accordance with their natural bents and 
tendencies The law oi affinity works in such a way that kindred spirits 
flock together, those oi exil disposition in one group, those of 
wholesome inclinations in another This law of affinity has held true 
in the past, as it is true now and will be true in the future. 

Anamatagga Saihyutta 

In the various suttas of this samyutta, the Buddha teaches that 
the cycle of existence, the samsara, represents the continuous arising 
and passing a\va> ol khandhas, dyatanas and dhdtus This incessant 
process of evolution and dissolution of dhatus (the fundamental ele- 
ments of mattei and mind) and khundas (compounded of the dhatus) 
is endless Blinded by avijjd, ignorance, and by nwamnas, hindrances, 
and fettered b\ tanha, ciuvmg, beings have been passing from one 
existence to another, found and round the cycle of samsara, for im- 
measurable periods oi time lo bring home this fact of immensity of 
suffering undergone by beings, the Buddha has given many similes 
in this sariiyutta, most illustrative of which are those of the four 
oceans and the Yepulla Mountain given in the Assu Sutta The tears 
shed through the ages oi each being on account of suffering due to 
disease, death, separation Iran the loved ones, association with the 

92 Guide to Tipitaka 

unloved ones would fill the four oceans to the brim The bones left 
behind by a being after death in each existence, if collected together 
at a certain place and preserved from loss and decay, would be as 
high as the Vepulla Mountain which lies north of the Gijjhakuta Hill 

The only way to escape from this round of endless suffering is 
to perceive the real nature of the khandhas by means of Vtpassand 
meditation until one becomes disenchanted with them, and thus by 
abandoning craving for and attachment to them one attains liberation 
through realization of Nibbana. 

The Buddha teaches in other suttas that one should in the mean- 
while develop loving-kindness towards all sentient beings with the 
realization that, during the immeasurably long passage through the 
samsara, there is no being who has not been one's mother, father, 
sister, brother or one's son or daughter, relative or friend 

Kassapa Samyutta 

In the Candtipama Sutta of this sariiyutta the Buddha lays down 
codes of conduct for bhikkhus, giving the example of the moon Just 
as the moon sheds its light equally on every object or person so also 
a bhikkhu should equally treat everyone, young or old or of middle 
age, showing favouritism to none, nor hostility to any He must deal 
with them with due regard, humility and meekness Mindfulness 
should be ever present m his relations with all classes of people For 
example, when a certain person tries to obtain his drinking water 
from an old well or from a riverbank of loose sand or from down a 
precipice, he approaches the source of water with great care, con- 
trolling his movements and actions Much m the same way should a 
bhikkhu conduct himself with great mindfulness in his dealings with 
all classes of people 

In teaching the Dhamma to lay disciples, if his motive is to win 
gam and fame for himself, then his teaching should be regarded as 
impure The Dhamma should always be taught only out of compassion 
and with the pure thought so that the Dhamma which is excellent in 
the beginning, excellent m_the middle and excellent in the ending, 
namely, the Dhamma on sila, samadht and panna, could be heard, 
understood and practised by the listener. 

In the Saddhammappatirupaka Sutta, the Buddha outlines the 
conditions under which the Teaching would decline or under which 

Chp 6 Samyutta Ntkaya 93 

it would prosper The Buddha gives the discourse in answer to a ques- 
tion asked by the Venerable Mahakassapa why it is that in former 
days when there were only a few disciplinary rules promulgated by 
the Buddha, there were a large number of Arahats, now that the 
disciplinary rules have multiplied, only a few attain to Arahatship 

The Buddha explains that the number of disciplinary rules in- 
creases in proportion to the deterioration in the moral state of beings 
So long as no spurious and false teaching appears in the three bran- 
ches of the Teaching (panyatti, theoretical learning, patipatti, practice, 
patived^ia, fruits of the practice), so long will the Teaching remain 
genuine, pure, and untarnished But when spurious and false teaching 
appears, this Teaching with its three branches will decline gradually 
until it vanishes altogether, much in the same way as genuine gold 
disappears when imitation gold is introduced to take its place 

The Buddha concludes "And Kassapa, just as iron is destroyed 
by rust, it is the members of the Order who are corrupt, immoral, who 
cannot hope to attain higher knowledge, who will bnng about the 
downfall of the Teaching " 

In the last few suttas ot Nidana Vagga are discourses that des- 
cribe the fearful destiny ol corrupt bhikkhus and bhikkhunis and 
those lay people who have done evil deeds in previous lives. The 
Venerable Maha Moggallana sees them suffering intensely in the Peta 
world and describes their conditions vividly The Buddha confirms 
what the Venerable Moggallana has recounted 

(c) Khandha Vagga Saihyutta Pali 

The main theme of most suttas in this division is, as the name im- 
plies, khandhas, the five aggregates that constitute what is regarded 
as a being Each of the components of these aggregates, namely, 
matter, sensation, perception, mental concomitants and consciousness 
is shown to be a bundle of dukkha, suffering Made up of thirteen 
samyuttas, Khandha Vagga fonns an important collection of doctrinal 
discussion on such topics as atta, anatta, eternity, and annihilation 

The Nakulapitu Strtta gives an account of the advice given to 
Nakulapita, an ageing disciple of the Buddha He asks for advice from the 
Buddha on how to conduct and keep himself free from the pains of 
old age and disease The Buddha explains that rupakkhandha, the 
material body being a bundle of dukkha, is subjected constantly to the 

94 Guide to Tipitaka 

pains of old age and disease; but the mental complex could be kept 
free of agony and pain by keeping it undefiled with impurities A 
more detailed exposition of this brief explanation of the Buddha is 
given to Nakulapita by the Venerable Sariputta The unmstructed 
common worldling clings to the five aggregates through craving and 
conceit, and holds the wrong view that each of the aggregates (riipa, 
vedana, sanna, sankhara and viiinana) is self, atta Even as he clings 
to the five aggregates as atta these aggregates manifest their own 
oppressive characters by inflicting pain of old age, pain of disease, 
pain of defilements (ktlesa). Because of these oppressive pains, the 
unmstructed common worldling is subjected to sorrow, lamentation, 
pain, grief, and despair. But when the worldling becomes instructed 
and has become accomplished in the Thirty-Seven Factors of 
Enlightenment, he does not cling to the five aggregates through craving, 
conceit or holding wrong views of self Then even though the five 
aggregates manifest their own characteristics of being oppressive, 
he is no longer subjected to mental afflictions of sorrow, lamentation, 
pain, grief and despair 

In the Bhara Sutta, the five groups of grasping (Pancupddanak- 
khandha) are designated as a burden, a heavy load It is craving for 
sense objects, craving for existence, craving for non-existence which 
is responsible for this heavy burden being borne along Realization 
of the Noble Truth of Cessation, Nibbana, is where the craving is 
completely eradicated, where this heavy load is finally discarded. 

The Yamaka Sutta explains that the five aggregates are of an 
impermanent nature; they should be looked upon as one's enemies 
Understanding their real nature of impermanence, unsatisfactori- 
ness, insubstantiality, the twenty kinds of wrong views of self should 
be discarded so that one may not be set upon by these enemies 

The Vakkali Sutta gives an account of the Buddha's visit to the 
ailing Bhikkhu Vakkali upon his request The great compassion of 
the Buddha becomes manifest in this account When Vakkali informs 
the Buddha that for a long time he has been longing to set his eyes 
upon the Buddha, the Buddha gently reproaches him. "Vakkali, what 
is there in seeing the decomposing body of mine? It is enough to see 
the Dhamma. He who has seen the Dhamma has seen me. This body 
of mine is like all else always rotting away, falling into decay " 
Then the Buddha teaches him the dhamma on the impermanence of 

Clip 6 Santyutta Nik ay a 95 

all things, their unsatisfactonness and insubstantiality and finally 
shows him the way to liberation 

Of the five aggregates, the Buddha says it is better for a person 
to mistake his physical body as atta, self, rather than mine or con- 
sciousness, because the physical body appears more solid and sub- 
stantial than thought 01 mind which constantly changes faster than 
the physical body 

The Khemaka Sutta records an illuminating conversation be- 
tween a bhikkhu named Khemaka and a group of bhikkhus who want 
to verify the stage ol his attainments When the bhikkhus ask him if 
he sees sell or anything pertaining to self in the five aggregates, 
Khemaka replies "No" But when the bhikkhus suggest that if so, he 
must be an Arahat iree from defilements Khemaka replies that 
though he does not find sell or anything pertaining to self in the five 
khandhas, he is not an Arahat free oi taints He still has a vague 
feeling U I am" although he does not clearly see "this is F with respect 
to matter, sensation, perception, mental formations or consciousness 

His vague leelmg is likened to the smell of a flower It is neither 
the smell oi the petals, nor oi the colour, nor of the pollen, but the 
smell of the flower He then goes on to explain that even if a person 
retains the leelmg "I am" at the early stages of realization, as he pro- 
gresses lurther and attains to higher stages, his feeling of "I am" dis- 
appears altogether, just as the smell of soap lingers in a freshly wash- 
ed cloth and disappears alter a time when it is kept in a box 

In the Puppha Sutta, the Buddha declares that he is not quarrel- 
ling or arguing with the world, it is only the world with its devas, 
maras, kings and people that \^ disputing with him To proclaim the 
truth is not engaging in disputes He speaks only what wise men 
hold to be true \\ ise men sa\ that there is no corporeality, sensation, 
perception, mental formations or consciousness which is stable, per- 
manent, enduring He says the same Wise men say that there is only 
corporeality, sensation, perception, mental formations or conscious- 
ness which is unstable, impermanent, unendunng He also says so 

"In this changing world, there are only things which are subject 
to constant change and decay Perceiving their real nature, I declare 
that the world is compounded ot things subject to decay and decom- 
position, namely, the aggregates of matter, sensation, perception, 
mental formations and consciousness, which are incessantly rising 

96 Guide to Tipttaka 

and passing away. There is nothing else besides these perishing 
aggregates Bhikkhus, I teach this dhamma in a brief manner I also 
teach this dhamma more comprehensively and completely But if 
the uninstructed common worldling remains unperceivmg and un- 
knowing in spite of very enlightening discourses, how can I help? 
Bhikkhus, various kinds of lotus grow in water, develop in water, rise 
above water, and remain there unpolluted by water, so also I was born 
in this world, I grew up in this world, I developed m this world and 
rose high above it without being attached to it, without being affected 
by if 

In the Phenapindupama Sutta, the aggregate of rupa is likened 
to froth, it is unstable, impermanent, constantly rising, and vanishing 
It is therefore not self The aggregate of vedand is likened to an air 
bubble The various sensations are just like bubbles, disappearing 
fast, impermanent, untrustworthy, of the nature of amcca, dukkha 
and anatta Sense perception which apprehends whatever is seen, 
heard, smelt, tasted, touched or known, is likened to a mirage What 
is considered by a samana as a being, a man, a woman or self is an 
optical illusion like a mirage In reality, it is merely a phenomenon of 
incessant arising and vanishing Sankhdra, volitional activities, are 
likened to plantain trunks A plantain trunk is made up of layers of fi- 
brous material with no substantial, solid inner core Sankkdra is like the 
plantain trunk void of inner substance. Consciousness is like a con- 
juror's tnck It arises and vanishes instantly Consciousness arises not as 
one wishes, but as conditioned by its own cause and circumstance 

(d) Salayatana Vagga Samyutta Pali 

This division is made up of ten samyuttas or groups It deals 
mainly with the sk sense organs or bases of contact named internal 
sense bases (eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mind), six correspond- 
ing sense objects, known as external sense bases (visible form, sound, 
odour, taste, tangible things and mind-objects), and consciousness that 
arises in relation to each pair of these internal and external sense 
bases. There are expositions on the impermanent nature of these 
sense bases and how relinquishing of attachment to them results in 
liberation. The sensation arising from coming together of the sense 
bases and consciousness is shown to be of three kinds, pleasant, 
unpleasant, indifferent, none of which is permanent, each one of these 

Chp b Samyutta Nikaya 97 

is the cause of craving which in turn is the root of all suffering Concise 
but illuminating expositions on Nibbana are found in many suttas 
So also are thei e practical guides of Vipassand meditation 

In the very first two suttas, the Buddha explains that the six 
internal sense bases and six external sense bases have the nature of 
impermanence, being impermanent, they are really suffering and not 
self "Bhikkhus, realizing their true nature, you should not regard 
these twelve sense bases as This is mine', This is F, This is my self. 
Contemplate on them steadfastly, constantly, until Vipassand Insight 
into their real nature arises " The Buddha ^continues to explain that 
insight into the true nature of the twelve Ayatanas will develop dis- 
passion and disenchantment for them Being disenchanted with them 
there is no craving, ^clinging, thereby achieving the Path and Fruition 

In the famous Aditta Siitta, the fire sermon, delivered at Gayasisa 
to one thousand ascetics formerly devoted to fire-worship but recent- 
ly converted and admitted into the Order as bhikkhus, the Buddha 
explains that each of the six sense bases and the six sense objects is 
burning, each is burning with the fire of lust, with the fire of hate, with 
the fire of ignorance Each is burning with the fire of birth, ageing and 
death, with the foe of sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair Six 
forms ot consciousness arising in i elation to the six sense bases are 
also burning, the six contacts and the six sensations resulting from 
them are also burning 

The Buddha explains turther that when a bhikkhu who has 
practised the dhamma develops Vipassand Insight and perceives that 
each of the bases is burning, he becomes disenchanted with it Then 
craving fades awa\ With the fading of craving, he is liberated And 
when liberated, there is knowledge that he is liberated At the end of 
the discourse, out* thousand former worshippers of fire attain Arahatship 

In the Pathania Migajala Sutta, the Buddha's definition of a 
bhikkhu who lives in solitude is very edifying When a bhikkhu un- 
mindfully takes delight in the six sense objects, regards them wrong- 
ly as Tliis is mine', This is F, This is my self, craving for them arises 
in him and he becomes attached to fetters. Such a bhikkhu in whom 
craving has arisen is regarded as one living with a companion, even- 
if he lives alone deep in a forest away from towns and villages When, 
however, he mindfully perceives the true nature of the six sense bases 
and objects, he does not wrongly hold on to them as This is mine', 

98 Guide to Tipitaka 

This is F, This is my self and craving for them does not arise in him 
Such a bhikkhu in whom craving has not arisen is said to be living 
in solitude without any companion even if he lives in the midst of 
people, in towns or villages 

The Punna Sutta gives an account of a bhikkhu by the name of 
Punna who asks for instruction from the Buddha on a suitable sub- 
ject on which he can meditate in solitude The Buddha advises him to 
contemplate on the true nature of the six sense bases and objects 
When he perceives their true nature, no craving for them will arise 
in him Eradication of craving will result m liberation and attainment 
of Arahatship After receiving the instruction, the bhikkhu informs 
the Buddha of his intention to reside in a very distant and remote 
land The Buddha tells him that it is a wild country inhabited by savage 
tribes, and asks him how he intends to cope with the dangers and 
hazards that would face him The answer given by the bhikkhu pro- 
vides a model lesson in fortitude and endurance 

The bhikkhu says, if he were menaced with invectives and curses 
or attacked physically, or if he had stones thrown at him or if he 
were hit with sticks or cut with swords, or pierced with spears, he 
would bear them with endurance with no malice against the savage 
tribes Even if his head were to be chopped off he would feel he was 
luckier than those noble ones who had to commit suicide to be releas- 
ed from the suffering of the khandhas 

The Buddha remarks, "Well said, bhikkhu, well said I believe 
you are qualified to lead a solitary life in that wild country You will 
overcome all difficulties " 

As presaged by the Buddha, the bhikkhu is able to overcome 
all hostilities and difficulties m his new residence, and to convert five 
hundred men and five hundred women so that they come to take 
refuge m the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Samgha And during the 
very first vassa residence, practising the meditation as instructed by 
the Buddha, the Bhikkhu Punna attains Arahatship, fully accom- 
plished in the three vijjas. 

In the Bharadvaja Sutta, an interesting interview between King 
Udena and the Venerable Pindola Bharadvaja is described King 
Udena approaches the Venerable Pmdola Bharadvaja while he is 
meditating at the foot of a tree in the king's park The king remarks 
that many young men have abandoned sensual pleasures and led 

( hp 6 ^amvutta Nikaya 99 

the holy hie Fhev maintain the holy practice throughout their life 
The king enquires, "\\ hat is the means by which they maintain the 
punty of their holy hie'-*" The bhikkhu replies that they keep to the 
pure life by training themselves as instructed by the Buddha to 
regaid a woman ol their mother's age as their mother, a woman of 
their sister's age as then sister, and a girl of their daughter's age as 
their daughter 

The king is not satisfied with the answer He argues that even if 
a bhikkhu trains himself m the said manner, it is no guarantee for 
the non-arising ot unpin e thoughts in him in connection with a female 
person The Venerable Pmdola Bharadvaja explains further they 
practise meditation on the foulness of a body by contemplating on 
the thirty-two constituent parts ol the body The king is still not 
convinced, he maintains that, tor oldei bhikkhus with more mature 
experience, who aie well established in mmdlulness and concentra- 
tion, contemplation on the thirty-two constituent parts of the body 
might prove to be salutan, but this type of meditation for younger 
bhikkhus might have an adverse eitect, exciting lust and passion 
instead ot a\eision loi the human body Only when the Venerable 
Pmdola Hhfirachaja tells him that the bhikkhus practise restraint of 
the six iaculties keeping a close watch on the doors of the six senses 
that the king agrees that piuity ol the holy life is possible under 
such oiiunistanees 

In the Pathama l)arukkhandhopama Sutta, the discourse _given 
by the Buddha on the bank ol the River Ganges at Kosanibi, the 
Buddha uses the simile ot a log floating down the river. He says that 
if the log dors not get stianded on either of the two banks, nor sinks 
in the middle of tin* met, not gets salvaged and deposited on the 
bank by some one, noi is retrieved b\ men or devas, nor sucked in 
by a whirlpool, and i! it does not get decomposed on the way, it will 
be carried by the current till its destination, the ocean, is reached. 

In tins simile, the near bank means the six internal sense bases, 
the far bank represents the six external sense objects, sinking in the 
mid-river means getting immersed in sensuous desires, being sal- 
vaged and deposited on a bank means being hindered by one's own 
conceit, being retrieved b\ men means doing some services or 
running errands toi men, being retrieved by devas means practising 
the holy lite with tin* dew realm as one's objective, being sucked in 

100 Guide to Tipitaka 

a whirlpool means wallowing in sensual pleasures, getting decompos- 
ed on the way means becoming corrupt, immoral, heedless of the 
disciplinary rules If a bhikkhu manages to steer himself clear of all 
these obstacles, he will be carried along by the current of Right 
View till he reaches his destination, Nibbana 

In the Chappanakopama Sutta, the Buddha teaches that a 
bhikkhu practising the holy life must exercise control of his sense 
faculties The six sense faculties may be likened to six animals, name- 
ly, a snake, a crocodile, a giant bird, a dog, a jackal and a monkey 
Suppose each animal is bound by a rope and the ropes are tied 
together into a single knot When they are left in this state, each ani- 
mal will try to get to its own habitat, the snake to its underground hole, 
the crocodile to the river, etc In this way they will pull and struggle 
against one another until they become exhausted and are dragged 
along by the strongest of them The mind of a bhikkhu with un- 
restrained sense faculties will be impelled by the senses towards 
corresponding sense objects 

But suppose each animal is bound by a separate rope which is 
fastened to a pole firmly planted in the ground Each animal will make 
furious attempts to return to its home and becoming exhausted final- 
ly will stand, sit, curl or lie down quietly near the post Similarly by 
practising contemplation of the body, Kayagatasati, the sense faculties 
are placed well under control Mmdfulness of the body serves as the 
firm post to which each of the faculties is tied down 

Dukkarapanha Sutta states that in the Teaching of the Buddha, 
it is difficult first to become a member of the Order as a novice and 
as a bhikkhu Secondly, it is difficult to be happy and comfortable in 
the Order with its disciplinary rules Thirdly, even if one stays the 
course and remains in the Order, it is difficult for one to practice 
concentration meditation and Vipassand meditation to attain to higher 
stages of knowledge When fully endowed with supporting paramts 
(perfections), a bhikkhu who gets instruction m the morning and 
starts practising meditation m the morning may be fully liberated by 
the evening; if he gets instruction in the evening and starts practising 
meditation in the evening he may be fully liberated by the morning 

A wealthy householder by the name of Citta figures quite 
prominently in some of the suttas of this division. In Nigantha 
Nataputta Sutta, Nigantha Nataputta finds himself unable to accept 

Chp 6 Samyutta Nikaya 101 

the view expressed by the Buddha that there is jhana and samadhi 
free from vitakka and vicdra He discusses this problem with Citta, 
the wealthy householder, who is an Ariya disciple of the Buddha. Qtta 
tells him* "I believe there is jhana and sarnadhi free from vitakka and 
vicdra, not because of niy faith in the Buddha but because of my own 
achievement and realization " Citta explains that he has personally 
experienced jhana samadhi unaccompanied by vitakka and vicara 
and has no need to rely on others for believing this 

The same Citta used to have in his younger days a close friend 
who later became the naked ascetic Kassapa Each has gone his own 
separate way and the two triends meet again only after thirty years. 
Citta asks his friend whether by living the ascetic life he has gained 
anything more than what could be achieved by the wholesome 
dhamma of ordinary people The ascetic Kassapa admits that he has 
nothing to show besides his nakedness, his shaven head and accu- 
mulation ot dust on his body 

When asked in return what he himself has gained by being a 
disciple of the Buddha and following the Path as instructed by his 
Teacher, Citta informs him that he has become fully accomplished in 
the four jhanas, and having removed the five fetters, is now an 
Andgdmi , a Non-returner The naked ascetic, impressed by his ac- 
hievements, tells Citta that he wants to be a disciple of the Buddha 
Citta introduces him to the leading bhikkhus and helps him to get ad- 
mission into the Order With the guidance of the theras and en- 
couragement of his friend Citta, the ex-ascetic Kassapa puts in such 
an effort in the practice of meditation that m no time he gains the 
supreme goal of Arahatship 

In the Sarikhadhama Sutta, the Buddha points out the wrong 
views held by Nigantha Nataputta on kamma and its resultant effects. 
According to the village headman Asibandhakaputta, his Teacher 
Nigantha Nataputta teaches that every one who commite 
of killing, lying, etc is definitely bound to be reborn i 
Whatever action is performed in a greater frequency, that action 
tends to determine the destiny of a being. The Buddhk points out th^ 
fallacy in the two statements, one contradicting the other An incSc 
vidual does not often commit the evil deed, for instance, of kilhjig, 
Other actions besides killing are performed by him m^more fre- 
quent manner; hence, according to Nigantha Nataputta, 

102 Guide to Ttpitaka 

be destined to states of woe for his evil act of killing 

Then the Buddha explains that only very heinous acts such as 
killing of one's own parents, creating a schism in the Samgha, etc 
bring the dire resultant effect of certain destiny in the states of woe 
Other misdeeds, physical, vocal or mental, cannot be regarded as to 
lead with certainty to unhappy destination Instead of just feeling 
remorseful and penitent over one's particular evil deed, one should 
recognize it to be evil, and resolve not to repeat a similar unwholesome 
action, and follow it with the practice of concentration and Vipassand 

Thus abandoning all evil deeds and doing only wholesome deeds 
together with development of Brahmavihara Bhdvana till accom- 
plished in jhana, one can escape from the unhappy consequences of 
one's evil actions and look forward to a better future This 
Sankhadhama Sutta establishes the fact that as in matter of practice 
so also in the matters of views, the Buddha takes the Middle Path 

In the Bhadraka Sutta, the Buddha explains the origin of suffer- 
ing by giving illuminating examples. The village headman Bhadraka 
wants to know the cause of suffering that afflicts mankind In reply, 
the Buddha asks him to think of his son and imagine that his son is 
meeting with unexpected misfortunes, or getting arrested by the 
kings' order or facing a severe punishment Bhadraka imagines as 
he is told and finds that such thoughts give nse to sorrow, lamenta- 
tion, pain, distress, grief and despair in him When he imagines a 
stranger to be placed in a similar situation, facing similar predicament, 
he finds that he is not troubled at all with any mental agony He 
explains to the Buddha that the difference in his mental reaction to 
the two situations lies in the fact that he loves his son with a parent's 
love and is very fond of his son, whereas he has no such feeling 
towards the stranger. 

Next the Buddha asks him if any love, passion or desire arises 
in him before he meets or sees or hears about the woman who has 
become his wife. Bhadraka replies that only when he meets, sees and 
hears about her that he develops passion and attachment towards 
his wife When the Buddha asks him further whether he will suffer 
from sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, grief, despair, if anything un- 
toward happens to his wife, he confesses that he will suffer more than 
these agonies; he might even lose his life through intense suffering 

Clip 6 Samyutta Nikaya 103 

The Buddha points out then that the root cause of suffering in 
the world is craving, greed, passion and desire that engulf mankind 
It has been so in the past, as it is now and so it will be in the future 

(e) Mafaa Vagga Sarfiyntta Pall 

The last Vagga of Samyutta Nikaya is made up of twelve sam- 
yuttas, the list ot which gives a clear indication of the subjects dealt 
with in this division, Magga Samyutta, Rouhanga Samyutta, Satipatthana 
Sariiyutta, Indnya Samyutta, Sammappadhana Samyutta, Bala Samyutta, 
Iddhipada Samyutta, Anuruddha Samyutta, Jhana Samyutta, Anapana 
Sariiyutta, Sotapatti Samyutta and Sacca Samyutta The mam doc- 
trines which form the fundamental basis of the Buddha's Teaching 
are reviewed in these samyuttas, covering both the theoretical and 
practical aspects In the concluding suttas of the vagga, the ultimate 
goal of the holy lite, Arahatta Phala, Nibbana, end of all suffering, is 
constantly kept in full view together with a detailed description of 
the way of achieving it, namely, the Four Noble Truths and the Noble 
Path of Eight Constituents 

In the opening suttas it is pointed out how friendship with the 
good and association with the virtuous is of immense help for the 
attainment of the Path and Perfection It is one of the supporting 
factors conducive to the welfare of a bhikkhu Not having a virtuous 
friend and good adviser is a great handicap for him in his endeavours 
to attain the Path 

In the* Kuij^aliya Sutta, the wandering ascetic Kundaliya asks 
the Buddha what his objective* is in practising the holy life When the 
Buddha replies that he lives the holy life to enjoy the Fruits of the 
Path and the bliss of liberation by knowledge, the ascetic wants to 
know how to achieve* these results The Buddha advises him to cultivate 
and frequently practise 4 restraint of the five senses This will establish 
the threefold good conduct in deed, word and thought When the 
threefold good conduct is cultivated and frequently practised, the 
Four Foundations ot Mindfulness will be established When the Four 
Foundations of Minclfulness are well established, the Seven Factors 
of Enlightenment will be developed. When the Seven Factors of 
Enlightenment are developed and frequently applied, the Fruits of 
the Path and liberation by knowledge will be achieved 

104 Guide to Tipitaka 

In the Udayi Sutta, there is an account of Udayi who gives con- 
firmation of such achievements through personal experience He 
tells how he comes to know about the five khandhas from the dis- 
courses, how he practises contemplation on the arising and ceasing 
of these khandhas, thereby developing Udayabbaya Nana which, 
through frequent cultivation, matures into Magga Insight Progressing 
still further by developing and applying frequently the Seven Factors 
of Enlightenment he ultimately attains Arahatship In many suttas 
are recorded the personal experiences of bhikkhus and lay disciples 
who on being afflicted with serious illness are advised to cultivate 
and practise the Seven Factors of Enlightenment They recount how 
they are relieved, not only of pains of sickness but also of suffering 
that arises from craving 

In Sakunagghi Sutta, the bhikkhus are exhorted by the Buddha 
to keep within the confines of their own ground, i e , the Four 
Foundations of Mmdfulness, namely, contemplation of body, sensa- 
tion, mind and mind-objects They can roam freely in the safe resort 
guarded by these outposts of Four Foundations of Mmdfulness, 
unharmed by lust, hate and ignorance. Once they stray outside their 
own ground, they expose themselves to the allurements of the sen- 
suous world. The parable of falcon and skylark illustrates this point 
A fierce falcon suddenly seizes hold of a tiny skylark which is feed- 
ing in an open field. Clutched in the claws of its captor, the unfor- 
tunate young bird bemoans its foolishness in venturing outside of its 
own ground to fall a victim to the raiding falcon "If only I had stayed 
put on my own ground inherited from my parents, I could easily 
have been beaten off this attack by the falcon " Bemused by the 
challenging soliloquy, the falcon asks the skylark where that ground 
would be that it has inhented from its parents The skylark replies, 
"The interspaces between clods of earth in the ploughed fields are 
my ground inherited from my parents." "All right, tiny tot, I shall 
release you now See if you can escape my clutches even on your own 

Then standing on a spot where three big clods of earth meet, 
the skylark derisively invites the falcon, "Come and get me, you big 
brute." Burning with fury, the falcon sweeps down with fierce speed 
to grab the mocking little bird in its claws. The skylark quickly disap- 
pears into the interspaces of the earth clods, but the big falcon, unable 

Ckp 6 Samyutta Nikaya 105 

to arrest its own speed, smashes into the hard protruding clods to 
meet its painful death 

In Bhikkhunupassaya Sutta, the Buddha explains for Ananda's 
benefit two method of meditation When established in the Four 
Foundations of Mmdfulness, a bhikkhu will experience a beneficial 
result, gradually increasing But should his mind be distracted by 
external things during the contemplation on body, sensation, mind 
or mmd-objects, the bhikkhu should direct his mind to some confi- 
dence-inspiring object, such as recollection of the virtues of the 
Buddha By doing so, he experiences joy, rapture, tranquillity and 
happiness which is conducive to concentration. He can then revert 
back to the original object of meditation When his mmd is not dis- 
tracted by external things, no need arises for him to direct his mind 
to any confidence-inspiring object. The Buddha concludes his ex- 
hortation thus "Here are trees and secluded places, Ananda. Practise 
meditation, Ananda Bo not neglectful lest you regret it afterwards " 

As set out in the Ciratthiti Sutta, the Venerable Ananda takes 
this injunction to heart and regards the practice of the Four Methods 
of Steadfast Mmdfulness as of supreme importance When a 
bhikkhu by the name of Badda asks the Venerable Ananda, after the 
death of the Buddha, what will bnng_about the disappearance of the 
Buddha's Teaching, the Venerable Ananda replies, "So long as the 
practice of the Four Methods of Steadfast Mmdfulness is not ne- 
glected, so long will the Teaching prosper, but when the practice of 
the Four Methods of Steadfast Mmdfulness declines, the Teaching 
will gradually disappear " 

Anapanassati meditation, one of the methods of body contem- 
plation, consists in watching closely one's in-breath and out-breath 
and is rated highly as being very beneficial In the Maha Kappina 
Sutta, the bhikkhus inform the Buddha, "We notice, Venerable Sir, 
that bhikkhu Maha Kappina is always calm and collected, never 
excited, whether he is in company or alone in the forest" "It is so, 
bhikkhus One who practises Anapanassati meditation with rnindful- 
ness and full comprehension remains calm in body and collected in 
mind, unruffled, unexeited " 

The Icchanaftgala Sutta describes how the Buddha himself once 
stayed for the rams-residence of three months in Icchanaftgala forest 
grove in solitude practising Anapanassati meditation most of the time 

106 Guide to Tipitaka 

Anapanassati meditation is known as the abode of the Enlightened 
Ones, the abode of the Noble Ones 

When fully accomplished in the cultivation of the Seven Factors 
of Enlightenment, through practice of body contemplation or Ana- 
panassati meditation, one becomes firmly established in unshakable 
confidence in the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Samgha The moral 
conduct of such a person, through observance of precepts, is also 
without blemish He has reached, m his spiritual development, the 
stage of the Stream-winner, Sotapatti Magga, by virtue of which, he 
will never be reborn in states of woe and misery His path only leads 
upwards, towards the three higher stages of accomplishment He has 
only to plod on steadfastly without looking backwards 

This is explained in the Pathama Mahanama Sutta, by the 
simile of an earthern pot filled partly with gravels and stones and partly 
with fat and butter By throwing this pot into water and smashing it 
with a stick, it will be seen that gravels and stones quickly sink to 
the bottom while fat and butter nse to the surface of the water 
Likewise, when a person who has established himself in the five 
wholesome dhammas of faith, conduct, learning, charity and insight 
dies, his body remains to get decomposed but his extremely purified 
mental continuum continues in higher states of existence as birth- 
linking consciousness, patisandht citta 

In the concluding suttas are expositions on the Middle Path, 
the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Path of Eight Constituents. 

The Buddha's first sermon, the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, 
appears in the last samyutta, namely, Saccasamyutta. 

The Buddha did not make his claim to supremely perfect 
enlightenment until he had acquired full understanding of the Four 
Noble Truths. "As long, bhikkhus, as my knowledge of reality and 
insight regarding the Four Noble Truths m three aspects and twelve 
ways was not fully clear to me, so long did I not admit to the world 
with its devas, maras and brahmas, to the mass of beings with its 
recluses, brahmins, kings and people that I had understood, attained 
and realized rightly by myself the incomparable, the most excellent 
perfect enlightenment " 

The Buddha concluded his first sermon with the words "This is 
my last existence Now there is no more rebirth for me." 



This Collection of Discourses, Anguttara Nikaya, containing 9557 
short suttas is divided into eleven divisions known as mpatas Each 
nipata is divided again into groups called vaggas which usually con- 
tain ten suttas The discourses are arranged hi progressive numencal 
order, each nipata containing suttas with items of dhamma, beginning 
with one item and moving up by units of one till there are eleven 
items of dhamma in each sutta of the last nipata Hence the name 
Anguttara meaning 'increasing by one item* The first nipata, Ekaka 
Nipata, provides in each sutta single items of dhamrna called the 
Ones, the second nipata, Duka Nipata, contains in each sutta two 
items of dhamma called the Twos, and the last nipata, Ekadasaka 
Nipata, is made up ot suttas with eleven items of dhamma in each, 
called the Elevens 

Anguttara Nikaya constitutes an important source book on 
Buddhist psychology and ethics, which provides an enumerated 
summary of all the essential features concerning the theory and 
practice of the Dhamma A unique chapter entitled Etadagga Vagga 
of Ekaka Nipata enumerates the names of the foremost disciples 
amongst the bhikkhus, bhikkhunis, upasakas, upasikas, who had 
achieved pre-eminence in one sphere of attainment or meritorious 
activity, eg the Venerable Sanputta in Intuitive Wisdom and 
Knowledge (Panna), the Venerable Maha Moggalla na in supernor L 
mal powers (Iddht), Bhikkhuni Khema in Panna, Bhikkhum 
Uppalavanna in Idcihu the Upasaka Anathapindika and the Upasika 
Visakha in alms-giving (Dana), and soon 

(1) Ekaka Nipata Pali 

This group contains single items of dhamma which form the 
subject matter of discourses given by the Buddha at Savatthi to the 
numerous bhikkhus residing there But some of_the suttas were 
given by the Venerable Sanputta or the Venerable Ananda 

108 Gutde to Tipitaka 

(a) There is no one sight, sound, smell, taste and touch other than 
that of a woman which can captivate and distract the mmd of a 
man; conversely there is no one sight, sound, smell, taste and 
touch other than that of a man which can captivate and dis- 
tract the mind of a woman (paras 1 to 10) 

(b) There is no other single thing that brings about so much dis- 
advantage and unhappiness as an undeveloped and uncultivat- 
ed mind A developed and cultivated mind bnngs about bene- 
fit and happiness (paras 28 to 31) 

(c) No other single thing changes so quickly as the mind The 
mind is intrinsically pure and bright, it is defiled by greed, 
hatred and ignorance (paras 48, 49) 

(d) If a bhikkhu practises the meditation of loving-kindness, and 
develops it even for the short duration of a finger's snap, he is 
regarded as following the advice of the Buddha, acting accord- 
ing to his instructions Such a bhikkhu deserves to eat the alms- 
food offered by the people (paras 53, 54) 

(e) There is only one person whose appearance in the world 
brings welfare and happiness to the many, brings benefit, wel- 
fare and happiness to devas and men. It is a Tathagata, a fully 
Enlightened Buddha 

It is impossible for two Enlightened Buddhas to appear simul- 
taneously in the same world system, (paras 170 to 174). 

(f) It is impossible for a person possessed of right views, ie. a 
Sotapanna, to regard any conditioned formation as permanent, 
happiness, Self (nicca, sukha, atta). It is possible only for an un- 
mstructed worldling to regard anything as permanent, happi- 
ness, Self (paras 268 to 270). 

(g) If one thing is developed and frequently practised, the body is 
calmed, the mind is calmed, discursive thinking is stilled, ig- 
norance is shed, knowledge arises, delusion of self is eliminated, 
evil tendencies are eradicated, the fetters are removed That 
one thing is the mindful contemplation of the body, (paras 571 
to 576) 

(2) Duka Nipata Pali 

(a) There are two things to be borne in mind not to be content 
with what has been achieved in the process of development, 

Chp 7 Anguttara Nikaya 109 

i e even with the attainment of jhanas or inner lights (which 
indicates a certain stage of Insight meditation), and to resolve 
to struggle unremittingly and strenously until realization of 
the goal the enlightenment (para 5) 

(b) There are two potentialities of men, to do good or to do evil It 
is possible to abandon evil, abandoning of evil bnngs benefit and 
happiness It Is also possible to cultivate the good Cultivation 
of the good brings benefit and happiness too (para 19) 

(c) Two things are conducive to attainment of liberation in two 
ways Concentration Meditation and Insight Meditation If 
concentration is developed, the mind becomes developed and 
passion fades away resulting in liberation of mind If insight is 
developed, wisdom is developed and ignorance fades away 
resulting in liberation by knowledge (para 32) 

(d) There are two persons one can never repay mother and father 
Even if out* should live a hundred years dunng which one at- 
tends upon one's mother and father, heaps all one's attention, 
love and personal service on them, one can never repay them 
for having brought up, feel and guided one through this life 
But if a person causes his parents who are non-believers to 
become established m the faith and to take refuge in the 
Buddha, the Dhamma and the Samgha, if he causes his parents 
who do not observe the precepts to become established in 
morality, if he causes his miserly parents to become generous 
so that they come to share their wealth with the poor and the 
needy, if he causes his ignorant parents to become establish- 
ed m the knowledge of the Four Truths, then such a person 
repays and more than repays his parents for what they have 
done for him (paras 33, 34) 

(e) There are two kinds of happiness The happiness of the home 
life and the happiness of homelessness, the happiness of home- 
lessness is superior 

The happiness of the senses and the happiness of renunciation, 
the happiness of renunciation is superior 
Tainted happiness and untainted happiness; carnal and non- 
carnal happiness; . and ignoble and noble happiness; . 
Bodily and mental happiness, mental happiness is superior 
(paras 65 to 71) 

HO Guide to Ttpttaka 

(3) Tika Nipata Pali 

(a) The fool can be known by three things, by his conduct in 
deed, word and thought, so also the wise man can be known 
by three things, by his conduct in deed, word and thought 
(para 3). 

(b) There are three places a sovereign king should not forget* his 
birth place, the place where he was crowned as king and the 
site of battle in which he conquered his enemies There are 
three places a bhikkhu should not forget the place of renun- 
ciation, the place where he achieved the knowledge of the Four 
Noble Truths and the place where he attained Arahatship 
(para 12) 

(c) He who devotes himself earnestly to his business in the 
morniag, in the daytime and in the evening, will prosper, and 
grow in wealth, the bhikkhu who devotes himself earnestly to 
development of concentration in the morning, in the daytime 
and in the evening will progress and gain advancement in his 
spiritual work (para 19) 

(d) These three types of persons are found m the world. One with 
a mind like an open sore, one with a mind like a flash of light- 
ning, one with a mind like a diamond 

One who is irascible and very irritable, displaying anger, hatred 
and sulkiness; such a one is said to be a person with a mind 
like an open sore 

One who understands the Four Noble Truths correctly is said 
to have a mind like a flash of lightning. One who has destroy- 
ed the mind-intoxicating defilements and realized the libera- 
tion of mind and the liberation by knowledge is said to have a 
mind like a diamond, (para 25) 

(e) There are these three kinds of individuals in the world: One 
who speaks words reeking with foul smell; one who speaks 
words of fragrance; and one who speaks words sweet as honey 
(para 28). 

(f) There are three root causes for the origination of actions 
(kamma): Greed, hatred and ignorance. An action done in 
greed, hatred and ignorance will ripen wherever the individual 
is reborn; and wherever the action ripens, there the individual 

Chp 7 Anguttara Nikaya HI 

reaps the fruit (vipaka) of that action, be it in this Me, in the 
next Me or in future existences (para 38) 

(g) He who prevents another from giving alms hinders and ob- 
structs three persons He causes obstruction to the merito- 
rious act of the donor, he obstructs the recipient in getting his 
gift, he undermines and harms his own character, (para 58) 

(h) Three dangers from which a mother cannot shield her son 
nor the son his mother Old age, disease and death, (para 63) 

(i) The well-known sutta, Kesamutti Sutta also known as Kalama 
Sutta, appears as the fifth sutta in the Mahavagga of the Tika 
Nipata At Kesamutta, a small town in the Kingdom of Kosala, 
the Buddha thus exhorted the Kalamas, the inhabitants of the 
town "Do not be led by reports or traditions, or hearsay Do 
not be led by the authority of religious texts, nor by mere 
logic or inference, nor by considering appearances, nor by 
speculative opinion, nor by seeming possibilities, nor because 
one's own teacher has said so Kalamas, when you know for 
yourselves that certain things are wrong, unwholesome, bad, 
then give them up, when you know for yourselves that certain 
things are right, wholesome, good, then accept them, follow 
them " (para 66) 

(j) A bhikkhu devoted to the holy life should pay equal attention 
to thiee tactois in turn, namely, concentration, energetic effort 
and equanimity, and not exclusively to one of these factors 
only If he gives regular attention to each of them, his mind 
will become soft, pliant, malleable, lucid and well concentrated, 
ready to be directed to whatever mental states is realizable by 
supernormal knowledge (para 103) 

(k) There are three rare persons in the world a Tathagata who is 
a perfectly Enlightened One is rare In the world a person who 
can expound the Teaching and Discipline as taught by the 
Buddha Is rare in this world, and a person who is grateful and 
thankful is rare in the world (para 115) 

0) Whether a Tathagata appears in the world or not, the fact re- 
mains as a firm and inevitable condition of existence that all 
conditioned formations are impermanent, that all conditioned 
formations are subject to suffering, that all things are devoid 
of self, (oara 137) 

112 Guide to Tipitaka 

(4) Catukka Nipata Pali 

(a) These four persons are found in the world he who goes with 
the stream; he who goes against the stream, he who stands 
firm; he who has crossed over to the other shore and stands 
on dry land 

The person who indulges in sense desires and commits wrong 
deeds is one who goes with the stream He who does not in- 
dulge in sense desires or commit wrong deeds, but lives the 
pure, chaste life, struggling painfully and with difficulty to do 
so, is one who goes against the stream He who stands firm is 
the person, who having destroyed the five lower fetters is 
reborn spontaneously in Brahma realm, whence he realizes 
Nibbana without ever returning to the sensuous sphere The 
one who has gone to the other shore standing on dry land is 
the person who has destroyed all the mental intoxicants, and 
who has realized, in this very life, by himself, the liberation of 
the mind and liberation by knowledge, (para 5) 

(b) There are four right efforts. 

(i) The energetic effort to prevent evil, unwholesome states 
of mind from arising; 

(ii) The energetic effort to get nd of evil, unwholesome states 
of mind that have already arisen, 

(lii) The energetic effort to arouse good, wholesome states of 
mind that have not yet arisen, 

(iv) The energetic effort to develop and bring to perfection 
the good and wholesome states of mind already arisen 
(para 13) 

(c) As a Tathagata speaks, so he acts; as he acts, so he speaks 
Therefore he is called a Tathagata (para 23) 

(d) There are four highest kinds of faith* The Tathagata, the 
holiest and fully enlightened, is the highest among all living 
beings. Among all conditioned things, the Noble Path of Eight 
Constituents is the highest Among all conditioned and uncon- 
ditioned things, Nibbana is the highest Amongst all groups of 

Chp 7 Anguttara Nikaya 113 

men, the Order of the Tathagata, the Samgha made up of the 
four pairs of noble men, the eight Anyas, is the highest 
For those who have faith in the highest, namely, the Buddha, 
the Path, the Nibbana and the Anyas the highest resultant 
effects (result of action) will be theirs (para 34) 
(e) There are four ways of dealing with questions 
(i) Some should be given direct answers, 
(11) Others should be answered by way of analysing them, 
(in) Some questions should be answered by counter-questions, 

(iv) lastly, some questions should simply be put aside (para 

(t) There are tour distortions (vtpallasas) in perception, thought 
and view To hold that there is permanence m the imperma- 
nence, to hold that there is happiness in suffering, to hold that 
there is atta where there is no atta; to hold that there is pleasant- 
ness (subha) in that which is foul (para 49) 

(g) When Nakulapita and Nakulamata express their wish to the 
Buddha to be in one another's sight as long as the present Me 
lasts and m the future life as well, the Buddha advises them to 
try to have the same faith, the same virtue, the same generosity 
and the same wisdom, then they will have their wish fulfilled 
(paras 55 - 56) 

(h) He who gives food gives four things to those who receive it He 
gives them long life, beauty, happiness and strength The donor 
himself will be endowed with long life, beauty, happiness and 
strw?th wherever he is born m the human or the deva world. 
(para 57) 

(i) There are four subjects not fit for speculative thought 
(Acinicyyani) They are the specific qualities of a Buddha 
(Buddhmnsayo), a person's jhana attainment; the results of 
Kamma, and the nature of the world (loka anta). These 
imponderables are not to be pondered upon, which, if 
pondered upon, would lead one to mental distress and in- 
sanity, (para 77) 

(j) There are four things concerning which no one whether 
samana, brahmana, deva, Mara or anyone else in the world can 

114 Guide to Tipitaka 

give a guarantee 

(i) That what is liable to decay should not decay, 
(ii) That what is liable to illness should not fall ill, 
(iii) That what is liable to die should not die, and 
(iv) That no resultant effects should come forth from those 

evil deeds done previously (para 182) 

(k) There are four ways by which a person's character may be 

His virtue can be known by a wise and intelligent person 
paying close attention after living together with him for a very 
long time His integrity can be known by a wise and intelligent 
person by having dealings with him, paying close attention 
over a long period of time. His fortitude can be known by a 
wise and intelligent person by observing him with close 
attention in times of misfortune His wisdom can be judged by 
a wise and intelligent person when conversing with him on 
various subjects over a long period of time (para 192) 

(1) There are four things conducive to the growth of wisdom as- 
sociating with a good person, hearing the good Dhamma, main- 
taining a right attitude of mind and leading a life in accordance 
with the Dhamma. (para 248) 

(5) Paiicaka Nipata Pali 

(a) There are five strengths possessed by a person in training for 
higher knowledge faith, shame (to do evil) , moral dread, ener- 
gy and insight-knowledge He believes in the enlightenment 
of the Buddha, he feels ashamed of wrong conduct m deed, 
word and thought, he dreads anything evil and unwholesome, 
he arouses energy to abandon everything unwholesome and to 
acquire everything that is wholesome; he perceives the pheno- 
menon of constant rising and ceasing and is thus equipped with 
insight which will finally lead him to Nibbana, destruction of 
suffering (para 2) 

(b) There are also other five strengths, namely, faith, energy, mind- 
fulness, concentration and insight-knowledge The strength of 
faith is seen in the four characteristic qualities of a Stream- 

Chp 7 Anguttara Ntkaya 115 

winner, the strength of energy is seen in the four Right Efforts; 
the strength of mmdfulness is seen in the Four Methods of 
Steadfast Mmdfulness and the strength of concentration is seen 
in the four jhanas, the strength of insight-knowledge is seen in 
the perception of the phenomenon of constant rising and ceas- 
ing, an insight which will finally lead to Nibbana. (para 14). 

(c) Impurities that defile gold are iron, tin, lead, silver, and other 
metals Impurities that defile mind are sensuous desire, ill will, 
sloth and torpor, restlessness and worry, sceptical doubts. 
(para 23) 

(d) A giver of alms surpasses a non-giver in five aspects, namely, 
in life-span, beauty, happiness, fame and power, whether both 
be reborn in the deva world or the human world. This difference 
in five aspects will persist till liberation is achieved. There is 
then no distinction between the liberation of one and the other 
or between one arahat and the other (para 31) 

(e) There are five contemplations which ought to be practised by 
everyone, bhikkhus or layfolks, men and women: 

7 am certain to become old I cannot avoid ageing' 

7 am certain to become ill and diseased I cannot avoid 


7 am certain to die I cannot avoid death'. 

'All things dear and beloved will not last They will be 

subject to change and separation' 

kamma (past and present actions) is my only property, 
kamma is my only heritage, kamma is the only cause of my 
being, kamma is my only km, my only protection Whatever 
actions I do, good or bad, I shall become their heir ' (para 57) 

(f) Five standards which should be set up for teaching the Dham- 
ma the Dhanima should be taught in graduated discourses; the 
Dhamnia should be given as a well-reasoned discourse; the 
Dhamma should be given out of compassion and sympathy; the 
Dhamma should not be given for the sake of worldly gain and 
advantage, the Dhamma should be taught without alluding to 
oneself or others, (para 159). 

116 Guide to Tipitaka 

(g) There are five ways of getting nd of a grudge If a grudge arises 
towards any person, then one should cultivate loving-kindness, 
or compassion or equanimity towards him. Or one should pay 
no attention to him and give no thought to him Or one may 
apply the thought: his only property is his actions, whatever 
he does, good or bad, he will be heir to that In these ways, all 
grudges that have ansen can be removed (para 161) 

(h) Wrong occupations which should not be followed by a lay dis- 
ciple- Trading in arms and weapons, trading in living beings, 
trading in meat, trading in intoxicants, trading in poison (para 

(6) Chakka Nipata Pali 

(a) There are six things which are unsurpassed The noblest things 
seen, the noblest things heard, the noblest gam, the noblest 
learning, the noblest service, and the noblest reflection The 
sight of the Tathagata or the Tathagata's disciples is the noblest 
thing seen The hearing of the Dhamma from the Tathagata or 
his disciples is the noblest thing heard Faith in the Tathagata or 
his disciples is the noblest gain Learning supreme virtue 
(adhisila], supreme mind development (adhtcitta), supreme 
wisdom (adhipannd) is the noblest learning Serving the 
Tathagata or his disciples is the noblest service Reflecting on 
the virtues of the Tathagata or his disciples is the noblest re- 
flection (para 30). 

(b) There are six kinds of suffering in the world for one who in- 
dulges in sense-pleasures poverty, indebtedness, owing interest, 
being demanded repaying, being pressed and harassed by 
creditors, imprisonment 

Similarly in the Teaching of the Ariyas, a person is regarded to 
be poor and destitute who lacks faith in things that are merito- 
rious, who has no shame and no scruples, no energy and no 
understanding of things that are good, and who conducts 
himself badly in deed, word and thoughts, (para 45) 

(c) There are six steps to gain liberation: Sense-control provides 
the basis for morality. Morality gives the foundation to Right 

Chp 7 Anguttara Nikaya 117 

Concentration Right Concentration provides the basis for 
understanding of the true nature of physical and mental pheno- 
mena With understanding of the true nature of physical and 
mental phenomena comes disenchantment and non-attach- 
ment. Where there is disenchantment and non-attachment, 
there arises the knowledge and vision of liberation, (para 50). 

(d) There are six things to be known: Sense-desires, feelings, per- 
ceptions, moral intoxicants (asavas), kamma and dukkha should 
be known, their causal origin should be known, their diversity, 
their resulting effects, their cessation and the way leading to 
their cessation should be known 

The way leading to the cessation of all these dhammas is the 
Noble Path of Eight Constituents (para 63) 

(e) There are six things which appear very rarely in the world 
Rare is the appearance in the world of a Perfectly Enlightened 
Buddha, rare is the appearance of one who teaches the 
Dhamma and Vmaya as proclaimed by the Buddha, rare it is 
to be reborn in the land of the Ariyas, rare it is to be in posses- 
sion of unimpaired physical and mental faculties, rare it is to 
be free from dumbness and stupidity, rare it is to be endowed 
with the desire for doing good, wholesome things (para 96) 

(f) There are six benefits m realizing the Sotapatti Fruition. 

(i) firm faith in the Dhamnia, 
(ii) impossibility of falling back, 

(iii) limit to suffering in the round of existences (only seven 

moi e existences) ; 

(iv) being endowed with supramundane knowledge which is 

not shared by the common worldling; 

(v) and 

(vi) clear understanding of causes and phenomena arising 
therefrom, (para 97). 

(7) Sattaka NIpata Pali 

(a) There are seven factors for winning respect and esteem of 
fellow bhikkhus. having no desire for gain; not wanting to be 

118 Guide to Tipitaka 

shown reverence but indifferent to attention; being ashamed 
of doing evil; being fearful of doing evil, and having little want; 
and having the right view, (para 1) 

(b) A bhikkhu becomes an eminent field for sowing seeds of merit, 
when he knows the text of the Teaching, knows the meaning 
of the Teaching, also knows himself, knows the proper limit 
for acceptance of offerings, knows the proper time for various 
activities, knows his audience, and knows the spiritual tendency 
of an individual (para 68). 

(c) If a bhikkhu develops his mind in the four methods of Steadfast 
Mindfulness, the four Right Efforts, the four bases of Psychic 
Power, the five Faculties, the five Strengths, the Seven Factors 
of Enlightenment, the Noble Path of Eight Constituents, he 
will be freed of the mental intoxicants, without any attachment, 
whether he wishes or not for liberation, (para 71) 

(d) Short is the life of man, just like the dew-drop on the tip of a 
blade of grass, a bubble appearing on the water when rain falls, 
a line drawn on water with a stick, a mountain stream, a lump 
of spittle on the tip of the tongue; a piece of meat thrown into 
an extremely hot iron pot, and a cow being led to be slaugh- 
tered, whenever she lifts a leg, she will be closer to slaughter, 
closer to death, (para 74) 

(e) Those teachings that lead to disenchantment, entire turning 
away from worldliness, non-attachment, cessation and calm, 
direct knowledge, enlightenment and Nibbana such teach- 
ings may be taken as the true Dhamma and Discipline, as the 
Buddha's Teaching, (para 83). 

(8) Atthaka Nipata Pali 

(a) There are eight benefits accruing from practice of meditation 
on loving-kindness: Whosoever practises meditation on loving- 
kindness enjoys sound sleep, wakes up fresh and well, is not 
disturbed by bad dreams, is regarded with esteem by men, is 
treated with respect by non-humans, is accorded protection 
by devas, is not hurt by fire, poison or weapons and is des- 
tined to reappear in the Brahma realm, (para 1). 

Chp 7 Anguttara Nikaya 119 

(b) There are eight worldly conditions, the vicissitudes of life that 
keep the world turning round gam, loss, fame, disrepute, 
praise, blame, happiness, suffering, (para 546). 

(c) There are eight strengths. The strength of a child lies in 
crying, of a woman in her anger, of a bandit m his arms; of a 
king in his sovereignty, of an unwise man in censure and re- 
viling, of a wise man in careful consideration of pros and cons; 
of a man of knowledge in caution, and the strength of a 
bhikkhu lies in his fortitude and forbearance (para 27) 

(d) Eight great reflections of the Venerable Anuruddha on the 
Dhamma Tins Dhamma is for one with few wants, not for one 
who wants much This Dhamma is for the contented, not for 
one hard to be satisfied This Dhamma is for one who loves 
solitude, not for one who loves company This Dharnma is for 
the energetic, not for the indolent This Dhamma is for one of 
vigilant mindfulness, not for the heedless This Dhamma is for 
one of concentrated mind, not for the distracted This Dhamma 
is for the wise, not for the unintelligent This Dharnma is for 
one who delights m Nibbana, not for one who rejoices in world- 
hness (conceit, craving and wrong view) (para 30) 

(e) There are eight types of speech by an Ariya: Having not seen, 
he says he has not seen, having not heard, he says he has not 
heard; having not sensed, he says he has not sensed; having 
not known, he says he has not known. Having seen, he says he 
has seen, having heard, says he has heard, having sensed, he 
says he has sensed and having known, he says he has known. 
(para 68) . 

(9) Navaka Nipata Pali 

(a) Nine practices not indulged in by Arahats An Arahat does not 
intentionally take the life of a being, does not take, with the in- 
tention of stealing, what is not given; does not engage in se- 
xual intercourse, does not speak what is not true knowing that 
it is not true, does not enjoy the pleasures of the senses; is not 
biased through favouritism, through hatred, through delusion 
or through fear (para 7). 

120 Guide to Ttpttaka 

(b) There are nine characteristics of a layman's residence which a 
bhikkhu should not visit or stay in Where a bhikkhu is not 
greeted or shown signs of welcome, or offered a seat, where 
alms are kept hidden, where little is given away although much 
can be afforded; where inferior alms are offered although 
better alms are available, where the offering is made m a dis- 
respectful manner, where the layman does not come near the 
bhikkhu to listen to the Dhamma, and where little interest is 
shown in the exposition of the Dhamma (para 17) 

(c) There are nine ways in which grudge is formed He has done 
me harm, he is doing me harm, he will do me harm, he has 
done harm to one dear to me, he is doing harm to one dear to 
me, he will do harm to one dear to me; he has done good to 
one disliked by me; he is doing good to one disliked by me; 
he will do good to one disliked by me (para 29) 

(d) There are nine things which should be eliminated in order to 
achieve realization of Arahatta Phala Lust, ill will, ignorance, 
anger, grudge, ingratitude, envy, jealousy, meanness (para 

(10) Dasaka Nipata Pali 

(a) There are ten benefits of being established in stla, morality 
One who is established in sila feels pleased, feeling pleased he 
feels glad; feeling glad, he is delightfully satisfied; being de- 
lightfully satisfied he becomes calm, when he is calm, he feels 
happiness, when he feels happiness, his mind becomes concen- 
trated; with concentrated mind, he sees things as they really 
are; seeing things as they really are, he becomes disen- 
chanted and dispassionate towards them; when there is no 
more passion or attachment, he achieves liberation of mind and 
liberation by knowledge, (para 1). 

(b) There are ten fetters Personality belief (Sakkayaditihi) , scepti- 
cal doubts, mistaking mere rites and ceremony as the true 
Path, sense-desire, ill will, attachment to Rupa realm, attach- 
ment to Arupa realm, conceit restlessness, ignorance (para 12). 

(c) Just as a young man or a woman looks into the mirror to find 

Chp 7 Anguttara Nikaya 121 

out if there are any blemishes on the face, so also it is ne- 
cessary for a bhikkhu to engage in occasional self-examination 
to see whether covetousness, ill will, sloth and torpor have 
arisen in him or not, whether worry and excitement, and 
doubts exist m him, whether he is free from anger and his 
mind is defiled or not by unwholesome thoughts; whether his 
body is at ease without restlessness; whether he is beset by 
laziness or not, and whether he has concentration of mind 
with clear comprehension, (para 51) 

(d) There are ten dhammas possessed by one who has become 
accomplished, an Arahat Right View, Right Thought, Right 
Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right 
Mindfulness, Right Concentration, Right Knowledge, Right 
Liberation (para 1 12) 

(11) Ekadasaka Nipata Pali 

(a) There are eleven kinds of destruction any one of which is 
likely to befall a bhikkhu who reviles the fellow bhikkhus of 
the community Lack of progress in his efforts, declining from 
the stage already achieved, tainted and defiled understanding 
of the Dhamma, being overcome by his own conceit, unhappi- 
ness in leading the holy life; liability to commit offences against 
the disciplinary rules, likelihood of reverting to the household 
life, likelihood of being afflicted with an incurable disease, 
likelihood of becoming mentally deranged, dying with a con- 
fused mind and likelihood of being reborn in the Nether 
Worlds (para 6) 

(b) There are eleven benefits derived from cultivation and develop- 
ment of loving-kindness, when frequently practised and firmly 
established One sleeps soundly and wakes peacefully with no 
bad dreams; one is regarded with esteem by men; is treated 
with respect by non-humans; is protected by devas, is un- 
harmed by fire, poison or weapons; his mind is easily con- 
centrated, the features of his face are serene, he will die with 
an unconfused mind, if he does not attain to Arahatship, he 
will be reborn in the Brahma realm, (para 15) 



Of the five Nikayas, Khuddaka Nikaya contains the largest num- 
ber of treatises (as listed below) and the most numerous categories 
of dhamma Although the word "Khuddaka" literally means "minor" 
or "small", the actual content of this collection can by no means be 
regarded as minor, including as it does the two major divisions of the 
Pitaka, namely, the Vinaya Pitaka and the Abhidhamma Pitaka accord- 
ing to one system of classification. The miscellaneous nature of this 
collection, containing not only the discourses by the Buddha but com- 
pilations of brief doctrinal notes mostly in verse, accounts of personal 
struggles and achievements by theras and theris also in verse, the 
birth stories, the history of the Buddha etc , may account for its title 

The following is the list of treatises as approved by the Sixth In- 
ternational Buddhist Synod 

Khuddaka Nikaya 




(a) Vinaya 

(b) Abhidhamma 

(c) Sut 





(1) Khuddaka Patha 

(2) Dhammapada 

(3) Udana 

(4) Itivuttaka 

(5) Suttanipata 

(6) Vraianavatthu 

(7) Petavatthu 

(8) Theragatha 

(9) Therigatha 

(10) Jataka 

(11) Niddesa 
(Maha, Cula) 

(12) Patisambliida 

included in the 
first four Nikayas 

(13) Apadana 

(14) Buddhavamsa 

(15) Cariya Pitaka 

(16) Netti 

(17) Petakopadesa 

(18) Milinda Panha 

ChpS Khuddaka Ntkaya 123 

(1) Khuddakapatha Pali 

First of the treatises in this Nikaya, Khuddakapatha, contains 
"readings of minor passages" most of which are also found in other 
parts of the Tipitaka It is a collection of nine short formulae and 
suttas used as a manual for novices under training, namely, (a) the 
three refuges (b) the Ten Precepts (c) the thirty-two parts of the 
body (d) simple Dhammas for novices in the form of a catechism (e) 
Mangala Sutta (f) Ratana Sutta (g) Tirokutta Sutta (h) Nidhikanda 
Sutta and (i) Metta Sutta. 

Taking refuge in the Three Gems, the Buddha, the Dhamma and 
the Samgha, by reciting the formula, "I take refuge in the Buddha, I 
take refuge m the Dhamma, I take refuge in the Samgha/' is a con- 
scious act of expression of complete faith in the Three Gems, not 
mere profession of superficial belief nor a rite of traditional piety It 
implies (i) one's humility, (ii) acceptance of the Triple Gems as one's 
guiding principles and ideals; (in) acceptance of discipleship and (iv) 

In the section on 4 Kumara pan ha', questions for young boys, 
the dhamma is tailored to suit the young intellect of novices 

What is the One 7 - The Nutriment which sustains the life 

of beings 

What are the Two? - Nama and Rupa 

What are the Three 7 - Pleasant, Unpleasant, Neutral Vedanas. 

What are the Four? - The Four Noble Truths. 

What are the Five? - The five groups of grasping. 

What are the Six 7 - The six bases of senses 

What are the Seven 7 - The seven factors of enlightenment 

What are the Eight 7 - The Noble Path of Eight Constituents 

What are the Nine 7 - The nine abodes or types of beings. 

What are the Ten? - llie ten demeritorious courses of 


124 Guide to Ttpttaka 

Maha Mangala Sutte, the discourse on the great blessings, is 
a famous sutta cherished highly in all Buddhist countries It is a 
comprehensive summary of Buddhist ethics for the individual as 
well as for society, composed in elegant verses The thirty-eight 
blessings enumerated in the sutta as unfailing guides throughout 
one's life start with advice on 'avoidance of bad company' and provide 
ideals and practices basic to all moral and spiritual progress, for the 
welfare and happiness of the individual, the family and the community 
The final blessing is on the development of the mind which is 
unruffled by vagaries of fortune, unaffected by sorrow, cleansed of 
defilements and which thus gains liberation the mind of an ArahaL 

The Ratana Sutta was delivered by the Buddha when Vesali 
was plagued by famine, disease etc He had been requested by the 
Licchavi Pnnces to come from Rajagaha to Vesali The sutta was 
delivered for the purpose of countering the plagues, by invocation of 
the truth of the special qualities of the Three Gems, the Buddha, the 
Dhamma and the Samgha 

The Metta Sutta was taught to a group of bhikkhus who were 
troubled by non-human beings while sitting in meditation at the foot 
of secluded forest trees The Buddha showed them how to develop 
loving-kindness towards all beings, the practice which will not only 
protect them from harm but also will serve as a basis for insight 
through attainment of jhana 

The Khuddakapatha which is a collection of these nine for- 
mulae and suttas appears to be arranged in such a way as to form a 
continuous theme demonstrating the practice of the holy life how a 
person accepts the Buddha's Teaching by taking refuge in the Three 
Gems, then how he observes the Ten Precepts for moral purification 
Next he takes up a meditation subject, the contemplation of thirty- 
two constituents of the body, to develop non-attachment He is shown 
next the virtues and merits of giving and how one handicaps oneself by 
not performing acts of merit. In the meanwhile he safeguards himself 
by reciting the Mangala Sutta and provides protection to others by 
reciting the Ratana Sutta. Finally, he develops loving-kindness towards 
all beings, thereby keeping himself safe from harm, at the same 
time he achieves jhanic concentration which will eventually lead him 
to reach the goal of spiritual life, Nibbana, by means of knowledge of 
Insight and the Path 

Chp 8 Khuddaka Ntkaya 125 

(2) The Dhammapada Pap 

It is a book of the Tipitaka which is popular and well-known not 
only in Buddhist countries but also elsewhere The 'Dhammapada 1 is 
a collection of the Buddha's words or basic and essential principles of 
the Buddha's Teaching It consists of 423 verses arranged according 
to topics in twenty-six vaggas or chapters 

Verse 183 gives the teachings of the Buddha in a nutshell Abstain 
from all evil; Promote (develop) what is good and purify your mind. 
Each stanza is packed with the essence of Truth which illumines the 
path of a wayfarer Many are the Dhammapada verses which find their 
way into the writings and everyday speech of the Buddhists One can 
get much sustenance and encouragement from the Dhammapada 
not only for spiritual development but also for everyday living 

The Dhammapada describes the path which a wayfarer should 
follow It states (m verses 277, 278 and 279) that all conditioned 
things are transitory and impermanent; that all conditioned things are 
subject to suffering, and that all things (dhammas) are insubstantial, 
incapable of being called one's own When one sees the real nature 
of things with (Vipassana) insight, one becomes disillusioned with 
the charms and attractions of the Five Aggregates. Such disillusion- 
ment constitutes the path of purity (Nibbana) 

Verse 243 defines the highest form of impurity as ignorance 
(avijja) and states that the suffering in the world can be brought to 
an end only by the destruction of craving or hankering after sensual 
pleasures Greed, ill will and ignorance are described as dangerous 
as fire and unless they are held under restraint, a happy life is im- 
possible both now and thereafter 

Avoiding the two extremes, namely, indulgence in a life of sen- 
suous pleasures and the practice of self-mortification, one must follow 
the Middle Path, the Noble Path of Eight Constituents to attain per- 
fect Peace, Nibbana Attainment to the lowest stage (Sotapatti Magga) 
on this Path shown by the Buddha is to be preferred even to the pos- 
session of the whole world (V. 178). The Dhammapada emphasizes 
that one makes or mars oneself, and no one else can help one to rid 
oneself of impurity Even the Buddhas cannot render help, they can 
only show the way and guide, a man must strive for himself. 

The Dhammapada recommends a life of peace and non-violence 

126 Guide to Tipitaka 

and points out the eternal law that hatred does not cease by hatred, 
enmity is never overcome by enmity but only by kindness and love 
(V.5) It advises to conquer anger by loving-kindness, evil by good, 
miserliness by generosity, and falsehood by truth 

The Dhammapada contains gems of literary excellence, replete 
with appropriate similes and universal truths and is thus found appeal- 
ing and edifying by readers all the world over It serves as a digest 
of the essential principles and features of the Buddha Dhamma as 
well as of the wisdom of all the ages. 

(3) Udana Pali 

An udana is an utterance mostly in matrical form inspired by a 
particularly intense emotion. This treatise is a collection of eighty joy- 
ful utterances made by the Buddha on unique occasions of sheer bliss, 
each udana in verse is accompanied by an account in prose of the 
circumstances that led to their being uttered. 

For example, in the first Bodhivagga Sutta are recorded the first 
words spoken aloud by the newly Enlightened Buddha in three stan- 
zas beginning with the famous opening lines "Yada have patubhavanti 
dhamma, Atapino jhayato brahmanassa " 

For seven days after his Enlightenment, the Buddha sat at the 
foot of the Bodhi tree feeling the bliss of liberation At the end of 
seven days, he emerged from this (Phala Samdpatti) sustained 
absorption in Fruition-Mind, to deliberate upon the principle of 
Dependent Origination: When this is, that is (Imasmivh sati, idam 
hoti}\ this having arisen, that arises (Imassuppada, idam uppajjati), 
when this is not, that is not (Imasmirh asati, idarh na hott); this 
having ceased, that ceases (Imassa nirodha, idafn nirujjhati) 

In the first watch of the night, when the principle of the origin of 
the whole mass of suffering was thoroughly grasped in a detailed man- 
ner in the order of arising, the Buddha uttered the first stanza of joy. 

'When the real nature of things becomes clear to the ardently 
meditating recluse, then all his doubts vanish, because he under- 
stands what that nature is as well as its cause " 

In the second watch of the night, his mind was occupied with 
the principle of Dependent Origination in the order of ceasing. When 

Chp 8 Khuddaka Nikaya 127 

the manner of cessation of suffering was thoroughly understood, the 
Buddha was moved again to utter the second stanza of jubilation: 

'When the real nature of things becomes clear to the ardently 
meditating recluse, then all his doubts vanish, because he perceives 
the cessation of causes " 

In the third watch of the night, the Buddha went over the detail- 
ed formula of the principle of Dependent Origination, Paticca Samup- 
pada, in both the orders of arising and ceasing Then having master- 
ed the doctrine of Dependent Origination very thoroughly, the 
Buddha uttered the third stanza of solemn utterance 

'When the real nature of things becomes clear to the ardently 
meditating recluse, then like the sun that illumines the sky, he 
stands repelling the dark hosts of Mara " 

(4) Itivuttaka Pali 

The fourth treatise contains 112 suttas divided into four nipatas 
with verses and prose mixed, one supplementing the other. Although 
the collection contains the inspired sayings of the Buddha as m 
Ud'ana, each passage is preceded by the phrase ( Iti vuttam Bhagavata', 
thus was said by the Buddha,' and reads like a personal note book in 
which are recorded short pithy sayings of the Buddha 

The division into nipatas instead of vaggas denotes that the 
collection is classified m ascending numerical order of the categones 
of the dhamma as in the nipatas of the Anguttara. Thus in Ekaka Nipata 
are passages dealing with single items of the dhamma" "Bhikkhus, 
abandon craving; I guarantee attainment to the stage of an Anagami 
if you abandon craving". In Duka Nipata, each passage deals with units 
of two items of the dhamma There are two forms of Nibbana dhatu, 
namely, Sa-upadisesa Nibbana dhatu, with the five khandhas still remai- 
ning, and Anupddisesa Nibbana dhatu, without any khandha remaining 

(5) Suttampata Pali 

As well-known as Dhammapada, Sutta Nipata is also a work m 
verse with occasional introductions in prose It is divided into five 

128 Guide to Tipitaka 

vaggas: (i) Uraga Vagga of 12 suttas, (ii) Cula Vagga of 14 suttas, (iii) 
Maha Vagga of 12 suttas, (iv) Atthaka Vagga of 16 suttas and (v) 
Parayana Vagga of 16 questions 

In the twelve suttas of the Uraga Vagga are found some important 
teachings of the Buddha which may be practised in the course of 
one's daily life 

'Truefnends are rare to come by these days, a show of friend- 
ship very often hides some private ends Man's mind is defiled by 
self-interest So, becoming disillusioned, roam alone like a 
rhinoceros " 

(Khaggavisana Sutta) 

"Not by birth does one become an outcast, not by birth does one 
become a brahmana, 

By one's action one becomes an outcast, by one's action one 
becomes a brahmana * 

(Vasala Sutta) 

"As a mother even with her life protects her only child, so let 
one cultivate immeasurable loving-kindness towards all living 

(Metta Sutta) 

Parayana Vagga deals with sixteen questions asked by sixteen 
brahmin youths while the Buddha is staying at Pasanaka Shrine in 
the country of Magadha The Buddha gives his answers to each of 
the questions asked by the youths Knowing the meaning of each 
question and of the answers given by the Buddha, if one practises 
the Dhamma as instructed in this sutta, one can surely reach the 
Other Shore, which is free from ageing and death. The Dhamma in 
this sutta is known as Parayana because it leads to the Other Shore, 

(6) Vimana Vatthu Pali 

Vimaria means mansion. Here it refers to celestial mansions gain- 
ed by beings who have done acts of merit In this text are eighty-five 

Chp 8 Kkuddaka Nikaya 129 

verses grouped in seven vaggas, in the first four vaggas, celestial 
females give an account of what acts of merit they have done in 
previous existences as human being and how they are reborn in 
deva realm where magnificent mansions await their appearance. In 
the last three vaggas, the celestial males tell their stories. 

The Venerable Maha Moggallana who can visit the deva realm 
brings back these stones as told him by the deva concerned and 
recounts them to the Buddha who confirms the stories by supplying 
more background details to them. These discourses are given with a 
view to bnng out the fact that the human world offers plenty of 
opportunities for performing meritorious acts. The other objective 
for such discourses is to refute the wrong views of those who 
believe that nothing exists after this life (the annihilationists) and 
those who maintain that there is no resultant effect to any action. 

Of the eighty-five stories described, five stories concern those 
who have been reborn in deva world having developed themselves 
to the stage of Sotapanna in their previous existences, two stories on 
those who have made obeisance to the Buddha with clasped hands; 
one on those who had expressed words of jubilation at the ceremony 
of building a monastery for the Samgha, two stories on those who 
had observed the moral precepts, two stones on those who had 
observed the precepts and given alms, and the rest deal with those 
who have been reborn in the deva world as the wholesome result of 
giving alms only. 

The vivid accounts of the lives of the devas in various deva abodes 
serve to show clearly that the higher beings are not immortals, nor 
creators, but are also evolved, conditioned by the results of their 
previous meritonous deeds; that they too are subject to the laws of 
anntca^ dukkha and anatta and have to strive themselves to achieve 
the deathless state of Nibbana 

(7) Peta Vatthu Pali 

"The stories of petas" are graphic accounts of the miserable 
states of beings who have been reborn in unhappy existences as a 
consequence of their evil deeds. There are fifty-one stories, divided 
into four vaggas, describing the life of misery of the evil doers, in 
direct contrast to the magnificent life of the devas. 

130 Guide to Tipitaka 

Emphasis is again laid on the beneficial effects of giving, whereas 
envy, jealousy, miserliness, greed and wrong views are shown to be 
the causes for appearance in the unhappy state of petas. The chief 
suffering in this state is dire lack of food, clothing and dwelling for 
the condemned being. A certain and immediate release from such 
miseries can be given to the unfortunate being if his former relatives 
perform meritorious deeds and share the merit with him In 
Tirokuttapeta Vatthu, a detailed account is given on how King 
Bimbisara brings relief to his former relatives who are unfortunately 
suffering as petas, by making generous offer of food, clothing and 
dwelling places to the Buddha and his company of bhikkhus and 
sharing the merit, thus accrued, to the petas who have been his kith 
and kin in previous lives. 

(8) The Thera Gatha Pali 


(9) The Theri Gatha Pali 

These two treatises form a compilation of delightful verses utter- 
ed by some two hundred and sixty-four theras and seventy-three 
theris through sheer exultation and joy that arise out of their re- 
ligious devotion and inspiration. These inspinng verses gush forth 
from the hearts of bhikkhus and bbikkunis after their attainment of 
Arahatship as an announcement of their achievement and also as 
statement of their effort which has led to their final enlightenment 

It may be learnt from these jubilant verses how a trifling inci- 
dent in life, a trivial circumstance can become the starting point of 
spiritual effort which culminates in supreme liberation. But for some 
of the theras, the call has come early to them to forsake the home 
life and take to the life of a homeless recluse. Their struggle has been 
hard because of the inner fight between the forces of good and evil. 
They have had a good fight and they have won by dint of resolution 
and ardent determination. The crippling bonds of greed, hatred and 
ignorance have been broken as under and they are freed. In sheer 
exultation, they utter forth those inspiring verses, proclaiming their 
freedom and victory. Some of these theras reach the sublime height 
of poetic beauty when they recount their solitary life in the quiet 

Chp 8 Khuddaka Ntkaya 131 

glades and groves of forest, the beauteous nature that form their 
surrounding, and the peace and calm that have facilitated their me- 

Although the verses in the Then Gatha lack the poetic excel- 
lence and impassioned expression of love of solitude that characterise 
the verses in the Thera Gatha, they nevertheless reflect the great piety 
and unflinching resolution with which the theris have struggled to 
reach the goal One distinguishing feature of the struggle of the 
theris is that many of them receive the final impetus to seek solace 
in holy life through emotional imbalance they have been subject to, 
for example, loss of the dear ones as in the case of Patacari, or 
through intense personal suffering over the death of a beloved son 
as suffered by Kisa Gotami 

Both the Thera Gatha and the Then Gatha provide us with 
shining, inspiring models of excellence, so consoling and so uplift- 
ing, so human and true to life, leading us on to the path of the holy 
life, stimulating us when our spirit drops, our rnind flags, and 
guiding us through internal conflicts and set-backs 

These gathas may be enjoyed simply as beautiful poems with 
exquisite imagery and pleasing words or they may be contemplated 
on as inspiring messages with deep meaning to uplift the mind to the 
highest levels of spiritual attainment. 

"Rain god* My abode has a roofing now for my comfortable 
living, it will shield me from the onset of wind and storm. Rain 
god 1 Pour down to thy hearts content; my mind is calm and 
unshakeable, free from fetters I dwell striving strenuously with 
untinng zeal Rain god f Pour down to thy heart's content." 

(Verse 325) 

The bhikkhu has now his 'abode' of the five khandhas well 
protected by *the roofing and walls' of sense restraints and panna 
He lives thus comfortably, well shielded from the rain and storm of 
lust, craving and attachments. Undisturbed by the pouring rain, and 
whirling wind of conceit, ignorance, hatred, he remains calm and 
composed, unpolluted Although he lives thus in security and com- 
fort of liberation and calm, he keeps alert and mindful, ever ready to 
cope with any emergency that may arise through lack of mindfulness 

132 Guide to Tipttaka 

(10) JatakaPali 

Birth-stories of the Buddha 

These are stories of the previous existences of Gotama Buddha, 
while he was as yet but a Bodhisatta The Jataka is an extensive work 
in verses containing five hundred and forty-seven stones or previous 
existences as recounted by the Buddha, (usually referred to in 
Burma as 550 stories) The treatise is divided into nipatas according 
to the number of verses concerning each story, the one verse stones 
are classified as Ekaka Nipata, the two verse stories come under 
Duka Nipata etc. It is the commentary to the verses which gives the 
complete birth-stories 

In these birth-stories are embedded moral pnnciples and prac- 
tices which the Bodhisatta had observed for self-development and 
perfection to attain Buddhahood. 


This division of Khuddaka Nikaya consists of two parts Nlaha 
Niddesa, the major exposition which is the commentary on the fourth 
vagga (Atthaka) of the Sutta Nipata and Cula Niddesa, the minor 
exposition which is the commentary on the fifth vagga (Pdrdyana) 
and on the Khaggavisana Sutta in the first vagga Attributed to the 
Venerable Sariputta, these exegetical works contain much material on 
the Abhidhamma and constitute the earliest forms of commentaries, 
providing evidence of commentarial tradition many centuries before 
the Venerable Buddhaghosa appeared on the scene 

(12) Patisambhida Magga Pali 

This treatise, entitled the Path of Analysis, is attributed to the 
Venerable Sariputta. Dealing with salient teachings of the Buddha 
analytically m the style of the Abhidhamma, it is divided into three 
main vaggas, namely, Maha Vagga, Yuganaddha Vagga and Panna 
Vagga. Each vagga consists of ten sub-groups, named kathos, such 
as Nana Katha, Ditthi Katha etc 

The treatment of each subject matter is very detailed and pro- 
vides theoretical foundation for the practice of the Path. 

ChpS Khuddaka Ntkaya 133 

(13) Apadana Pali 

It is a biographical work containing the life stories (past and 
present) of the Buddha and his Arahat disciples. It is divided into two 
divisions, the Therapadana giving the life stories of the Buddha, of 
forty-one Paccekabuddhas and of five hundred and fifty-nine Arahats 
from^the Venerable Sariputta to the Venerable Ratthapala, and 
Theripadana with the life stories of forty theri Arahats from Sumedha 
Then to PesalaThen 

Apadana here means a biography or a life story of a particularly 
accomplished person, who has made a firm resolution to strive for 
the goal he desires, and who has ultimately achieved his goal, name- 
ly, Buddhahood for an Enlightened One,_Arahatship for his disciples 
Whereas the Thera Gatha and the Theri Gatha depict generally the 
triumphant moment of achievements of the theras and theris, the 
Apadana describes the up-hill work they have to undertake to reach 
the summit of their ambition The Gathas and the Apadanas supple- 
ment one another to unfold the inspiring tales of hard struggles and 
final conquests. 

(14) Buddhavarfnsa Pali 
History of the Buddhas 

Buddhavarhsa Pali gives a short historical account of Gotama 
Buddha and of the twenty-four previous Buddhas who had prophesi- 
ed his attainment of Buddhahood It consists of twenty-nine sections 
in verse 

The first section gives an account of how the Venerable Sariputta 
asks the Buddha when it was that he first resolved to work for attain- 
ment of the Buddhahood and what paramis (virtues towards perfec- 
tion) he has fulfilled to achieve his goal of Perfect Enlightenment In 
the second section, the Buddha describes how as Sumedha the her- 
mit, being inspired by Diparikara Buddha, he makes the resolution 
for the attainment of Buddhahood, and how the Buddha Diparikara 
gives the hermit Sumedha his blessings prophesying that Sumedha 
would become a Buddha by the name of Gotama after a lapse for 
four asankheyya and a hundred thousand kappas (world cycles). 

134 Guide to Tipitaka 

From then onwards, the Bodhisatta Sumedha keeps on practis- 
ing the ten paramts, namely, alms-giving, morality, renunciation, 
wisdom, perseverance, forbearance, truthfulness, determination, loving- 
kindness and equanimity. The Buddha relates how he fulfils these 
paramts, existence after existence, and how each of the twenty-four 
Buddhas, who appeared after Dipankara Buddha at different intervals 
of world cycles, renewed the prophesy that he would become a 
Buddha by the name of Gotama 

In sections three to twenty-seven are accounts of the twenty-five 
Buddhas including Gotama Buddha, giving details about each of 
them with regard to birth, status, names of their parents, names of 
their wives and children, their life-span, their way of renunciation, 
duration of their efforts to attain Buddhahood, their teaching of the 
Dhammacakka Sutta in the Migadayavana, the names of their Chief 
Disciples and their chief lay disciples Each section is closed with an 
account of where the Buddhas pass away and how their relics are 

In the twenty-eighth section is given the names of three Buddhas, 
namely, Tanhankara, Medhankara and Saran ankara who lived before 
Dipankara Buddha at different intervals of the same world cycle 
The names of other Buddhas (up to Gotama Buddha) are also enu- 
merated together with the name of the kappas in which they have 
appeared Finally there is the prophesy by the Buddha that Metteyya 
Buddha would arise after him in this world 

The last section gives an account of how the Buddha's relics are 
distributed and where they are preserved 

(15) Cariya Pitaka 

This treatise contains thirty-five stories of the Buddha's previous 
lives retold at the request of the Venerable Sariputta. Whereas the 
Jataka is concerned with the Buddha's previous existences from the 
time of Sumedha, the hermit, till he becomes Gotama Buddha, Cariya 
Pitaka deals only with thirty-five of the existences of the Bodhisatta in 
this last world cycle. The Venerable Sariputta's object in making the 
request is to bring out into bold relief the indomitable will, the supre- 
me effort, the peerless sacrifice with which the Bodhisatta conducts 
himself in fulfilment of the ten paramts (virtues towards Perfection). 

Chp8 Khuddaka Nikaya 135 

The Bodhisatta has, throughout innumerable ages, fulfilled the 
ten paramts for countless number of times Cariya Pitaka records 
such performances in thirty-five existences, selecting seven out of 
the ten paramis, and recounts how each parami is accomplished in 
each of these existences Ten stones in the first vagga are concerned 
with accumulation of virtues in alms-giving, the second vagga has 
ten stories on the practice of morality and the last vagga mentions 
fifteen stories, five of them dealing with renunciation, one with firm 
determination, six with truthfulness, two with loving-kindness and 
one with equanimity 

(16) Netti & (17) Petakopadesa 

The two small works, Netti, made up of seven chapters, and 
Petakopadesa, made up of eight chapters, are different from the 
other books of the Tipitaka because they are exegetical and metho- 
dological m nature 

(18) Milindapanha Pali 

Mihndapanha Pali is the last of the books which constitute 
Khuddaka Nikaya It records the questions asked by King Milinda 
and the answers given by the Venerable Nagasena some five hundred 
years after the Pannibbana of the Buddha King Milinda was Yonaka 
(Graeco-Bactrian) ruler of Sagala He was very learned and highly 
skilled in the art of debating. The Venerable Nagasena, a fully accom- 
plished Arahat, was on a visit to Sagala at the request of the Samgha 

King Milinda, who wanted to have some points on the Dhamma 
clarified, asked the Venerable Nagasena abstruse questions concerning 
the nature of man, his survival after death, and other doctrinal as- 
pects of the Dhamma The Venerable Nagasena gave him satisfactory 
replies on each question asked. These erudite questions and answers 
on the Teaching of the Buddha are compiled into the book known as 
the Milindapanha Pali. 

Chapter 9 


(a) Abhidhamma, the Higher Teaching of the Buddha 

Abhidhamma is the third great division of the Pitaka. It is a huge 
collection of systematically arranged, tabulated and classified doctrines 
of the Buddha, representing the quintessence of his Teaching. 
Abhidhamma means Higher Teaching or Special Teaching; it is uni- 
que in its abstruseness, analytical approach, immensity of scope and 
conduciveness to one's liberation 

The Buddha Dhamrna has only one taste, the taste of liberation 
But in Suttanta discourses, the Buddha takes into consideration the 
intellectual level of his audience, and their attainments in parami. He 
therefore teaches the Dhamma in conventional terms (voh a ra vacand), 
making references to persons and objects as I, we, he, she, man, 
woman, cow, tree, etc But in Abhidhamma the Buddha makes no 
such concessions, he treats the dhamma entirely in terms of the 
ultimate reality (paramattha sacca) He analyses every phenomenon 
into its ultimate constituents All relative concepts such as man, 
mountain, etc. are reduced to their ultimate elements which are then 
precisely defined, classified and systematically arranged. 

Thus in Abhidhamma everything is expressed in terms of khan- 
dhas, five aggregates of existence; ayatanas, five sensory organs and 
mind, and their respective sense objects; dhatu, elements, indriya, 
faculties; sacca, fundamental truths; and so on Relative conceptual 
objects such as man, woman, etc are resolved into ultimate compo- 
nents ofkhandhas, ayatanas, etc, and viewed as an impersonal psycho- 
physical phenomenon, which is conditioned by various factors and 
is impermanent (amcca), suffering (dukkha) and is without a perma- 
nent entity (anatta). 

Having resolved all phenomena into ultimate components analy- 
tically (as in Dhammasangani and Vibhanga) it aims at synthesis by 
defining inter-relations (paccayd) between the various constituent 
factors ( as in PattMna). Thus Abhidhamma forms a gigantic edifice 

Chp9 What is Abhidhamma Pttaka? 137 

of knowledge relating to the utlimate realities which, in its immen- 
sity of scope, grandeur, subtlety, and profundity, properly belongs 
only to the intelectual domain of the Buddha. 

(b) The seven books of Abhidhamma 

The Suttanta Rtaka also contains discourses dealing with analyti- 
cal discussions and conditional relationship of the five aggregates. 
Where the need arises subjects such as the five aggregates, ayatanas, 
etc are mentioned in the sutta discourses But they are explained 
only briefly by what is known as the Sutta Method of Analysis 
(Suttanta bhdjaniyd), giving bare definitions with limited descriptions. 
For example, khandhas the five aggregates, are enumerated as the 
corporeal aggregate, the aggregate of sensation, the aggregate of 
perception, the aggregate of mental formations (volitional activities) 
and the aggregate of consciousness. They may be dealt with a little 
more comprehensively, for instance, the corporeal aggregate may 
be further defined as corporeality of the past, the present or the 
future, the corporeality which is internal or external, coarse or fine, 
inferior or superior, far or near. The Sutta Method of Analysis does 
not usually go further than this definition. 

But the Abhidhamma approach is more thorough, more pene- 
trating, breaking down each corporeal or mental component into the 
ultimate, the most infinitesimal unit For example, Rupakkhandha, cor- 
poreal aggregate, has been analysed into twenty-eight constituents, 
Vedanakkhandha, the aggregate of sensation, into five; Sannakkhan- 
dha, the aggregate of perception, into six; Sahkharakkhandha, the ag- 
gregate of mental formations, into fifty, and Vinnanakkhandha, the 
aggregate of consciousness, into eighty-nine. Then each constituent 
part is minutely described with its properties and qualities and its 
place in the well arranged systems of classification is defined 

A complete description of things requires also a statement of 
how each component part stands in relation to other component 
parts This entails therefore a synthetical approach as well, to study 
the interrelationship between constituent parts and how they are 
related to other internal or external factors. 

Thus the Abhidhamma approach covers a wide field of study, 
consisting of analytical and synthetical methods of investigation, de- 

138 Guide to Ttpttaka 

scribing and defining minutely the constituent parts of aggregates, 
classifying them under well ordered heads and well arranged systems 
and finally setting out conditions in which they are related to each 
other Such a large scope of intellectual endeavour needs to be en- 
compassed in a voluminous and classified compilation Hence, the 
Abhidhamma Pitaka is made up of seven massive treatises, namely: 

(1) Dhammasangani, containing detailed enumeration of all phe- 
nomena with an analysis of consciousness (citta) and its con- 
comitant mental factors (cetasikas) , 

(2) Vtbhanga, consisting of eighteen separate sections on analysis 
of phenomena quite distinct from that of Dhammasangani; 

(3) Dhatukatha, a small treatise written in the form of a catechism, 
discussing all phenomena of existence with reference to three 
categories, khandha, ayatana and dhatu, 

(4) Puggalapannatti, a small treatise giving a description of various 
parts of individuals according to the stage of their achievement 
along the Path; 

(5) Kathdvatthu, a compilation by the Venerable Moggaliputta, the 
presiding thera of the third Great Synod in which he discusses 
and refutes doctrines of other schools in order to uproot all 
the points of controversy on the Buddha Dhamma, 

(6) Yamaka, regarded as a treatise on applied logic in which analy- 
tical procedure is arranged in pairs, 

(7) Patthana, a gigantic treatise which altogether with Dhamma- 
sangani, the first book, constitutes the quintessence of the 
Abhidhamma Pitaka. It is a minutely detailed study of the doc- 
trine of conditionality, based on twenty-four pacayas, conditions 
or relations. 

(c) Conventional Truth (Sammuti Sctcca) and Ultimate Truth 
(Paramattha Socca) 

Two kinds of Truth are recognised in the Abhidhamma accord- 
ing to which only four categories of things, namely, mind (cons- 
ciousness), mental concomitants, materiality and Nibbana are class- 
ed as the Ultimate Truth; all the rest are regarded as apparent truth. 

Chp9 What is Abhidhamma Pitaka? 139 

When we use such expressions as T, 'you', < ma n', 'woman', 'person', 
'individual', we are speaking about things which do not exist in 
reality. By using such expressions about things which exist only in 
designation, we are not telling a lie, we are merely speaking an 
apparent truth, making use of conventional language, without which 
no communication will be possible 

But the Ultimate Truth is that there is no 'person', 'individual' 
or T in reality There exist only khandhas made up of corporeality, 
mind (consciousness) and mental concomitants These are real in 
that they are not just designations, they actually exist in us or 
around us. 



I. The Dhammasangani Pali 

The Dhammasangani, the first book of the Abhidhamma, and the 
Pattkana, the last book, are the most important of the seven treatises 
of Abhidhamma, providing as they do the quintessence of the entire 

Scheme of classification in the Dhammasangani 

(1) The Matika 

The Dhammasangani enumerates all the dhammas (phenomena) 
i e , all categories of nama, namely, consciousness and mental con- 
comitant, and rupa, corporeality. Having enumerated the phenomena, 
they are arranged under different heads to bring out their exact 
nature, function and mutual relationship both internally (in our own 
being) and with the outside world The Dhammasangani begins with 
a complete list of heads called the Matika The Matika serves as a 
classified table of mental constituents treated not only in the Dham- 
masangani but in the entire system of the Abhidhamma 

The Matika consists altogether of one hundred and twenty-two 
groups, of which the first twenty-two are called the Tikas or Triads, 
those that are divided under three heads; and the remaining one hun- 
dred are called the Dukas or Dyads, those that are divided under 
two heads 

Examples of Triads are 

(a) KusalaTika. dhammas that are 

(i) moral, kusala, 
(ii) immoral, akusala, 
(111) indeterminate, abyakata 

(b) VedanaTika- dhammas that are associated with. 

(i) pleasant feeling, 
(ii) painful feeling, 
(iii) neutral feeling 

Chp 10 Abhtdhamma Pitaka 141 

Example of Dyads are: 

(a) Hetu Duka: dhammas that are: 

(i) roots, hetus 
(ii) not roots, na-hetu. 

(b) Sahetuka Duka: dhammas that are. 

(i) associated with the hetus. 
(ii) not associated with the hetus. 

The Matika concludes with a list of the categories of dhamma 
entitled Suttantika Matika made up of forty-two groups of dhamma 
found in the suttas 

(2) The four Divisions 

Based on these Mafakas of Tikas and Dukas, the Dhammasangani 
is divided into four Divisions. 

(i) Cittuppada Kanda, Division on the arising of consciousness 

and mental concomitants 

(ii) Rupa Kanda, Division concerning corporeality, 
(iii) Nikkhepa Kanda, Division that avoids elaboration, 
(iv) Atthakathd Kanda, Division of Supplementary Digest 

Of the four divisions, the first two, namely, Ctttuppada Kanda and 
Rupa Kanda form the main and essential portion of the book. They 
set the model of thorough investigation into the nature, properties, 
function and interrelationship of each of the dhammas listed in the 
Matika, by providing a sample analysis and review of the first Tika, 
namely, the Kussala Ttka of Kusala, Akusala and Abyakata Dhamma. 
Cittuppada Kanda deals with a complete enumeration of all the states 
of mind that come under the headings of Kusala and Akusala; the 
Rupa Kanda is concerned with all states of matter that come under 
the heading of Abyakata; mention is also made of Asankhata Dkatu 
(Nibbana) without discussing it 

The Nikkhepa Kanda, the third division, gives, not too elaborate- 
ly nor too briefly, the summary of distribution of all the Tikas and 
Dukas, so that their full contents and significance will become com- 
prehensible and fully covered. 

142 Guide to Ttpitaka 

Atihakathd Kanda, the last division of the book, is of the same 
nature as the third division, giving a summary of the dhammas under 
the different heads of the Tika and the Duka groups But it provides it 
in a more condensed manner, thus forming a supplementary digest 
of the first book of the Abhidhamma for easy memorizing 

(3) Order and classification of the types of Consciousness 
as discussed in Cittuppada Kanda 

The Cittuppada Kanda first gives a statement of the types of 
Consciousness arranged under the three heads of the first Tika, 
namely, (i) Kusala Dhamma i e , Mentonous Consciousness and its 
concomitants (ii) Akusala Dhamma i e , Demeritorious Consciousness 
and its concomitants (lii) Abyakata Dhamma i e , Indeterminate Con- 
sciousness and its concomitants The list of mental concomitants for 
each dhamma is fairly long and repetitive 

The statement of the types of Consciousness is followed by iden- 
tification of the particular type e g Kusala Dhamma, in the form of 
question and answer, with regard to the plane or sphere (bhumi) of 
Consciousness: Kamdvacara, sensuous plane, Rupavacara, plane of 
form, Arupavacara, plane of no-form; Tebhumaka, pertaining to all 
the three planes, or Lokuttara, supramundane, not pertaining to the 
three planes 

The type of Consciousness for each plane is further divided into 
various kinds e.g , there are eight kinds of Kusala Dhamma for the 
sensuous plane: first Kusala Citta, second Kusala Citta etc, twelve 
kinds ofAkusala Citta; eight kinds ofAhetuka Kusala Vipaka Cttta 
and eight kinds of Sahetuka Vipaka Citta under the heading of 
Abyakata Dhamma. 

Then these various kinds are further analysed according to: 

(i) Dhamma Vavatthdna Vara e.g , the particular quality, whether 
accompanied by joy etc. Le, somanassa, domanassa, sukha, 
dukkha, or upekkhd. 

(ii) Kotthdsa Vara, the grouping of dhammas There are twenty- 
three categories of dhammas which result from synthetical 
grouping of dhammas into separate categories such as khan- 
dhas, ayatanas, dhatus etc. 

Chp 10 Abhidhamma Pitaka 143 

(iii) Sumdta Vara, which lays stress on the fact that there is no 
'self (atta) or jiva behind all these dhammas; they are only 
composites, causally formed and conditioned, devoid of any 
abiding substance 

The same method of treatment is adopted for the akusala and 
abyakata types of Consciousness 

(4) Rupa Kanda 

Because Dhammasangani treats all the dhammas (ndmas as well 
as rupas) m the same uniform system of classification, Rupa Kanda 
is only a continuation of the distribution of the Dhamma under the 
heads of the first Tika, which begins m the first division, Cittupada 
Kanda In the Ctttuppada Kanda, the enumeration of the Dhamma 
under the head 'Abyakata' has been only partially done, because 
abyakata type of Dhamma includes not only all the states of mind 
which are neither meritorious nor demeritorious but also all states 
of matter and the Asankhata Dhatu or Nibbdna The portion of 
Dhamma under the heading of Abyakata, which has been left out 
from Cittuppada Kanda is attended to m this kanda. 

The method of treatment here is similar, with the difference 
that instead of mental concomitants, the constituents of matter, 
namely, the four primary elements and the material qualities derived 
from them with their properties and their relationships are analysed 
and classified 

II. Vibhanga Pali 

Book of Analysis 

The second book of the Abhidhamma Pitaka, Vibhanga, together 
with the first book Dhammasangani and the third book of Dhatukatha, 
forms a closely related foundation for the proper and deep under- 
standing of the Buddha's Dharnrna. Whereas Dhammasangani pro- 
vides a bird's eye view of the whole of the Tika and Duka groups with 
further systematic arrangements under classified heads, Vibhanga 
and Dhatukatha give a closer view of selected portions of those 
groups bringing out minute details 

144 Guide to Tipttaka 

Thus, Kotthdsa Vdra in Dhammasangani explains what and how 
many khanda, ayatana, dhdtu, ahara, indnya, jhananga etc. are includ- 
ed in the Tika and Duka groups But it does not furnish complete 
information about these dhammas It is Vibhafiga which provides 
full knowledge concerning them, stating the exact nature of each 
dhamma, its constituents and its relationship to other dhammas 

The Vibhanga is divided into eighteen Chapters each dealing 
with a particular aspect of the Dhamma, its full analysis and inves- 
tigation into each constituent The arrangement and classification 
into groups and heads follow the same system as in the Dham- 
masangani Vibhanga may therefore be regarded as complementary 
to Dhammasangani. 

Vibhanga explains comprehensively the following categories of 

(1) Khandha (10) Bojjhanga 

(2) Ayatana (11) Magga 

(3) Dhatu (12) Jhana 

(4) Sacca (13) Appammanna 

(5) Indriya (14) Sikkapada 

(6) Paticcasamuppada (15) Patisambhida 

(7) Satipatthana (16) Nana 

(8) Sammappadhana (1?) Khuddhaka vatthu 

(9) Iddhipada (18) Dhammahadaya 

Each category is analysed and discussed in two or all the three 
of the following methods of analysis' 

Suttanta bhajaniya the meaning of the terms and the 
classification of the dhammas determined according to the Suttanta 

Abhidhamma bhajaniya the meaning of the terms and the 
classification of the dhammas determined according to the 
Abhidhamma method, 

Paflha puccaha, discussions in the form of questions and 

Chp 10 Abhidhamma Pitaka 145 

It may be seen from the above list of the eighteen categories 
that they may be divided into three separate groups The first group 
containing numbers (1) - (6) deals with mental and corporeal consti- 
tuents of beings and two laws of nature to which they are constantly 
subjected viz the Law of Irnpermanence and the Law of Dependent 
Origination The second group containing numbers (7) - (12) is 
concerned with the practice of the holy life which will take bemgs 
out of suffering and rounds of existence. The remaining six catego- 
ries serve as a supplement to the first two groups, supplying fuller 
information and details where necessary 

III. Dhatukatha Pali 

Although this third book of Abhidhamma Pitaka is a small trea- 
tise, it ranks with the first two books forming an important trilogy, 
which must be thoroughly digested for the complete understanding 
of the Abhidhamma Vibhahga, the second book, has one complete 
chapter devoted to the analysis of dhatus, but the subject matter of 
dhdtu is so important that this separate treatise is devoted to it for a 
thorough consideration The method of analysis here is different 
from that employed in the Vibhanga 

Dhatukatha studies how the dhammas listed in the Tikas and 
Dukas of the Matika are related to the three categories of khandha, 
ayatana and dhatu m their complete distribution i.e , five khandhas, 
twelve qyatanas and eighteen dhatus These are discussed in four- 
teen ways of analytical investigations which constitute the fourteen 
chapters of Dhatukatha. 

IV. Puggalapannati Pali 

Abhidhamma is mainly concerned with the study of abstract 
truths in absolute terms But in describing the dhammas in their 
vanous aspects, it is not possible to keep to absolute terms only. 
Inevitably, conventional terms of every day language have to be 
employed m order to keep the lines of communication open at all. 
Abhidhamma states that there are two main types of conventional 
usage; the first type is concerned with terms which express things 
that actually exist in reality and the sec'ond type describes things 
which have no existence in reality. 

146 Guide to Tipitaka 

The first three books of the Abhidhamma investigate the abso- 
lute Truth of Dhamma in a planned system of detailed analysis em- 
ploying such terms as Khandha, Ayatana, Dhatu, Sacca and Indnya 
These terms are mere designations which express things that exist 
in reality and are therefore classed as the conventional usage of the 
first type. To the second type of conventional usage belong such ex- 
pressions as man, woman, deva, individual etc , which have no exis- 
tence in reality, but nevertheless are essential for communication of 

It becomes necessary therefore to distinguish between these 
two types of apparent truths But as the terms Khandha, Ayatana, 
Dhatu, Sacca and Indnya have been elaborately dealt with in the first 
three books, they are dealt with here only briefly The terms used in 
the second type concerning individuals are given more weight and 
space in the treatise, hence its title Puggalapanfiatti, designation of 
individuals. Different types of individuals are classified, in ten 
chapters of the book, after the manner of enumeration employed in 
Ariguttara Nikaya 

V. Kathavatthu Pali 

Kathavatthu, like Puggalapaffiatti, falls outside the regular system 
of the Abhidhamma It does not directly deal with the abstruse 
nature of the Dhamma. It is mainly concerned with wrong views such 
as Person exists; Self exists; Jiva exists' which were prevalent even 
in the Buddha's time, or wrong views such as 'Arahat falls away 
from Arahatship' which arose after the Pannibbana of the Buddha 

About two hundred and eighteen years after the Pannibbana of 
the Buddha there were altogether Eighteen Sects, all claiming to be 
followers of the Buddha's Teaching. Of these only the Theravadins 
were truly orthodox, while the rest were all schismatic. The Emperor 
Asoka set about removing the impure elements from the Order with 
the guidance and assistance of the Elder Moggaliputtatissa who was 
an accomplished Arahat Under his direction, the Order held in 
concord the Uposatha ceremony which had not been held for seven 
years because of dissensions and the presence of false bhikkhus m 
the Order. 

Chp 10 Abhidhamma Pitaka 147 

At the assembly, the Venerable Moggahputtatissa expounded on 
points of views, made up of five hundred orthodox statements and 
five hundred statements of other views, in order to refute the wrong 
views that had crept into the Samgha and that might in the future 
arise He followed the heads of discourses, Matika, outlined by the 
Buddha himself and analysed them in detail into one thousand state- 
ments of views This collection of statements of views was recited by 
one thousand selected theras who formed the Third Great Synod, to 
be incorporated into the Abhidhamma Pitaka 

The style of compilation of this treatise is quite different from 
that of other treatises, written as it is in the form of dialogue be- 
tween two imaginary debaters, one holding the heterodox views of 
different sects and the othei representing the orthodox views. 

VI. Yamaka Pali 

The Dhammasangani, the Vibhanga and the Dhatukatha examine 
the Dharnma and their classifications as they exist in the world of 
reality, named Sankharaloka. PuggalapaMatti and Kathavatthu deal 
with beings and individuals which also exist in their own world of 
apparent reality, known as Sattaloka Where the dhamma of 
Sankharaloka and beings of the Sattaloka co-exist is termed the 
Okasaloka. Yamaka sets out to define and analyse the interrelation- 
ship of dhammas and puggalas as they exist in these three worlds 

This is accomplished in the form of pairs of questions, which 
gives it the title of Yamaka The logical process of conversion 
(anulomd) and complete inversion (patiloma) is applied to determine 
the complete import and limit of a term m its relationship with the 
others. An equivocal nature of a term (samsayd) is avoided by show- 
ing, through such arrangement of questions, how other meanings of 
the term do not fit for a particular consideration. 

The following pairs of questions may be taken as an example 

To the question 'May all rupa be called Rupakkhandha?' the 
answer is 'Rfipa is also used in such expressions as piya rupa 
(loveable nature), eva rupa (of such nature), but there it does not 
mean RupakkhandhaT 

But to the question 'May all Rupakkhandha be called rupa? the 
answer is *yes', because Rupakkhandha is a very wide term and in- 
cludes such terms as piya rupa, eva rupa etc 

148 Guide to Ttpttaka 

VII. Patthana Pali 

** * 

Patthana Pali, the seventh and last book of the Abhidhamma, is 
called the Maha Pakarana, the 'Great Book' announcing the supreme 
position it occupies and the height of excellence it has reached in its 
investigations into the ultimate nature of all the dhammas in the 

The Dhammasangam gives an enumeration of these dhammas 
classifying them under the Tika and Duka groups Vibhanga analyses 
them to show what dhammas are contained in the major categories 
of khandhas, ayatanas, dhatus etc. Dhatukathd studies the relation- 
ship of dhammas listed in the Matika with each component of these 
major categones of khandhas, ayatanas, and dhatus Yamaka resolves 
ambiguity in the internal and external relationship of each dhamma 
Patthana forming the last book of the Abhidhamma brings together 
all such relationship in a co-ordinated form to show that the dham- 
mas do not exist as isolated entities but they constitute a well ordered 
system in which the smallest unit conditions the rest of it and is also 
being conditioned in return The arrangement of the system is so 
very intricate, complex, highly thorough and complete that it earns for 
this treatise the reputation of being deep, profound and unfathomable. 

An outline of the Patthana system of relations 

Patthana, made up of the words 'pa and thdna \ means a system 
of relations The Great Treatise of Patthana arranges all conditioned 
things, (twenty-two Tikas and one hundred Dukas of the Matika), 
under twenty-four kinds of relations, describes and classifies them 
into a complete system for understanding the mechanics of the uni- 
verse of Dharnma The~whole work is divided into four great divi- 
sions, namely: 

(i) Anuloma Patthana which studies the instances in which paccaya 
relations do exist between the dhammas, 

(ii) Paccamya Patthana which studies the instances m which 
paccaya relations do not exist between the dhammas 

(iii) Anuloma Paccaniya Patthana which studies the instances in 
which some of the paccaya relations do exist between the 
dhammas but the others do not. 

Chp 10 Abhidhamma Pitaka 


(iv) Paccaniya Anuloma Patthana which studies the instances in 
which some of the paccaya relations do not exist between the 
dhammas, but the others do exist. 

The twenty-four paccaya 
divisions in the following six 

(i) Tika Patthana 

(ii) Duka Patthana 

(in) Duka-Tika Patthana 

(iv) Tika-Duka Patthana 

(v) Tika-Tika Patthana 

(vi) Duka-Duka Patthana 

relations are applied to these four great 

- The twenty-four paccayas are applied 
to the dhammas in their twenty-four 
Tika groups 

- The twenty-four paccayas are applied 
to the dhammas in their one hundred 
Duka groups. 

- The twenty-four paccayas applied to 
the dhammas in their one hundred 
Dukas mixed with twenty-two Tika 

- The twenty-four paccayas applied to 
the dhammas in their twenty-two 
Tikas mixed with one hundred Duka 

- The twenty-four paccayas applied to 
the dhammas in their twenty-two 
Tika groups mixed with one another 

- The twenty-four paccayas applied to 
the dhammas in their one hundred 
Duka groups mixed with one another. 

The four patthanas of the four great divisions when permuted 
with the six patthanas of the six ways result in twenty-four treatises 
which constitute the gigantic compilation of abstract Abhidhamma 
known as the Mahapakarana or as the commentary and sub-commen- 
tary name it 'Ananianaya Samania Patthana' to denote its profundity 
and fathomless depth. 


The Tipitaka is an extensive body of Canonical Pali 
literature in which are enshrined the Teachings of Gotama 
Buddha expounded for forty-five years from the time of his 
enlightenment to his Parmibbana 

The general discourses and sermons intended for both 
the bhikkhus and lay disciples, delivered by the Buddha on 
various occasions (together with a few discourses delivered 
by some of his distinguished disciples), are collected and 
classified in a great division known as the Suttanta Pitaka 

The great division in which are incorporated injunctions 
and admonitions of the Buddha on modes of conduct, and 
restraints on both bodily and verbal actions of bhikkhus and 
bhikkhunTs, which form rules of discipline for them, is called 
the Vmaya Pitaka 

The philosophical aspect of the Buddha's Teaching, more 
profound and abstract than the discourses of the Suttanta 
Pitaka, is classified under the great division known as the 
Abhidhamma Pitaka Abhidhamma deals with ultimate 
truths, expounds ultimate truths and investigates Mind and 
Matter and the relationship between them 

All that the Buddha taught forms the subject matter and 
substance of the Pali Canon, which is divided into these 
three divisions called Pitakas literally baskets Hence 
Tipitaka means three baskets or three separate divisions of 
the Buddha's Teaching 

Sabba ddnam dhammadanam jmati 
The gift of Dhamma surpasses all gifts 

L/ /i 

A /' //YY' (/{j 

Buddhist Devotees 

May the merits accured from this Dhamma-ddna to 
be dedicated to the departed and loved ones 
May they be relieved from all suffering 

May the new existence they take be happy and blissful. 

May they walk the path of virtue and wisdom 

till suffering-end m Nibbana 

(e Vvherever the Buddha's teachings have 


either in cities or countrysides, 

people would gain inconceivable benefits. 

The land andpepole would be enveloped in peace. 

The sun and moon will shine clear and bright. 

Wind and rain would appear accordingly, 

and there will be no disasters. 

Nations would be prosperous 

and there would be no use for soldiers or weapons. 

People would abide by morality and accord with 


They would be courteous and humble, 
and everyone would be content without injustices. 

There would be no thefts or violence. 
The strong would not dominate the weak 
and everyone would get their fair share." 






With bad advisors forever left behind, 

From paths of evil he departs for eternity, 

Soon to see the Buddha of Limitless Light 

And perfect Samantabhadra's Supreme Vows, 

The supreme and endless blessings 
of Samantabhadra's deeds, 
I no\v universally transfer. 

May every living being, drowning and adrift, 

Soon return to the Pure Land of 

Limitless Light! 

"--The Vows of Samantabhadra~ 

I vow that when my life approaches its end, 
All obstructions will be swept away; 

I will see Amitabha Buddha, 

And be born in His Western Pure Land of 

Ultimate Bliss and Peace. 

When leborn in the Western Pure Land, 

I will perfect and completely fulfill 

Without exception these Great Vows, 

To delight and benefit all beings. 

The Vows of Samantabhadra 
Avatamsaka Sutra~ 


May the merit and virtue 

accrued from this work 

adorn Armtabha Buddha's Pure Land, 

repay the four great kindnesses above, 

and reheve the suffering of 
those on the three paths below 

May those who see or hear of these efforts 

generate Bodhi-mmd, 

spend their lives devoted to the Buddha Dharma, 

and finally be reborn together in 

the Land of L T ltimate Bliss 

Homage to Amita Buddha' 


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